Ascul sighed and stared out into the ocean as he waited by the docks. It was a busy afternoon in Stormwind. The people were bustling. The guards were out doing their usual rounds. The city was alive. Still, time seemed to stand still around Ascul. Again he glanced down at the parchment he kept folded at his lap and read it over again. It was a letter from his younger sister saying that she would finally be coming home from her tour in the island in the mist. He was overjoyed to once again read over her crude handwriting, relieved to know she was alive and... hopefully, well. She always kept her letters vague and simple, making it impossible for him to tell whether or not she would be coming home with a war injury. She did this specifically so he wouldn’t panic; but, quite frankly, it only made his nerves worse. It was getting late; the horizon was turning a deep crimson color. The telltale sound of the bell snapped him out of his hazy thoughts. A crowd of people had flocked to the scene, family members awaiting the arrival of their loved ones. Slowly, the ship drifted in to dock and the soldiers disembarked to be embraced by their teary eyed loved ones. The Draenei stood a little ways away from the scene and scanned the crowd for his sister.
He turned to the sound of his name. There was no mistaking that voice.
“Erani!” he called back.
Clad in her lighter set of mail armor, sporting the signature blue and yellow tabard of the Alliance, his beloved sister stood before him, perfectly healthy save for a few small bandages over her fingers and one on her right cheek. Minor scratches. Nothing he couldn’t heal within a few minutes.
A wide grin split his face and he ran toward her to pull her into a tight hug. She grunted and staggered backward a bit from the sudden force. With a laugh, she said in their native tongue, “Ah, I should have known you would be here, brother. You’re so damn clingy.”
He laughed as well. “I just… wanted to be sure you were okay.”
“Oh, I’m fine. It’s going to take more than some misty island and a few dumb, smelly, orcs to take me down.”
Ascul shook his head at that, still smiling. He took Erani by the shoulders and gently pushed her back to get a better look at her. Erani smirked and arched an eyebrow. “So, are you gonna just stand there with that stupid grin on your face or are we gonna hit the tavern?”
He sighed. “Do you always have to ruin the moment?”
Erani shrugged and walked ahead of him, expecting him to follow, which he gladly did. In an almost practiced motion, Erani pulled out a cigarette and a small matchbox from a pouch at her belt. Ascul’s smile wavered a bit as she did so but this time, he would refrain from saying anything. For now, he was just happy his sister was safe.
It was a perfect evening. They drank a bit, laughed together, and enjoyed each other’s company. For them, it was a rare occasion. No worries, no complaints, and most importantly, no fighting. For the first time in a long time, the two sat down together not as rivals, but as brother and sister. As family. They returned to Erani’s home late that evening. He healed her cuts and bruises while she boasted about how she got each of them, clearly exaggerating in her stories. Then they wished each other a good night and went to bed. Ascul slept on the couch in the living room for the night. Erani had set out a blanket and pillow for him.
They had been sleeping rather soundly until Erani awoke to the sound of her brother snoring. When she became aware of the hard stone floor that had replaced her mattress, she bolted upright into a sitting position and looked around. “What in all that is Holy…?” she murmured to herself. They were in some sort of…cave? She looked to her side to see her brother sleeping soundly next to her. They were both still in their night wear. Erani, dressed in her white, cotton , nightgown and Ascul, mostly bare except for his boxers.
“Ascul? Ascul, wake up,” she said as she shook him awake. He grumbled groggily and slowly opened his eyes. Upon realizing they weren’t in Erani’s home, he too, bolted upright and rubbed his eyes.
“Erani? What… Where are we?” he said looking around wildly.
Erani pushed herself to her feet and began to explore the small corner of the cave they were in.
“I… I don’t know,” she whispered.
Edited by Erani on 12/15/2012 9:30 PM PST