A Broken Song in Three Voices, Chapter 4

Caren was standing off to the side, watching the bustle and chaos and flow of the area around the docks, when she was aware of someone thumping into place next to her with a grunt. At the sound of a wyvern’s hearty purr, she had a good guess at who she’d see as she turned her head.

Necronim smiled up at her though it was nothing like a normal smile. Since death had taken the flesh and muscle from around his mouth, he physically couldn’t smile in the normal fashion. She’d known him for many years though and had learned how to read him. His smile was in the slight curve of his dark eyebrows, the lift to the stitches he carefully kept at the edge of the crossover between bone and flesh, and the slight tilt of his head to the left.

“Long time,” was the undead’s only comment as he stood with one arm looped over his wyvern’s neck so he could scratch the big animal underneath the jaw.

Caren just nodded and replied, “Not so long, my friend. How is your family?” She knew he usually quietly  visited his sister in Stormwind around this time, almost like clockwork. Though this visit was surely made somber by the fairly recent death of his brother-in-law.

Shrugging one shoulder, he darkly answered, “Surviving. Sara just got her apprenticeship under a blacksmith confirmed so they should have more soon than what little stipend the crown gives to military widows.” Then he grimaced (as much as he could grimace) as he added, “Though Helen keeps talking about trying to join SI:7 like I did.”

Arching her eyebrows slightly, Caren asked, “I hope you told her to not mention the Tathdyl name? Or that her uncle was once a member?”

“Actually I told her not to apply at all but she’s a headstrong little shit. Just like her mother.”

“And her uncle,” she commented, to which the rogue snorted.

Necronim then tilted his chin towards the crowd that was milling slowly towards the boats before asking, “You got a place already?”

“Mostly trying to avoid the bastards locking the majority of healers down to Orgrimmar. Other than that I have a space reserved on one ship with the group I travelled with from Thunder Bluff if I want it but…” Caren trailed off for a moment before saying, “I was hoping one or both of you would be here to come with me.”

“One or both?” repeated Necronim as a shadow fell over the both of them. He turned then and looked up at the elf leaning on the saddle horn of the undead horse that cast the shadow and smiled. “Good to see you out of your tower, mage.”

Hresden snorted and replied, “Good to see you’re not in a grave yet, rogue.” He then became solemn as he looked at Caren and inclined his head slightly. “Sister.”

“Brother,” she replied with a gentle smile, reaching out towards him. He straightened up as he laid a hand in hers in return and squeezed tightly for a moment before relaxing again. She hadn’t known the quel’dorei as long as she had Necronim but they had a much different relationship.

With Necronim she was the one who’d pulled him out of the proverbial hole he’d thrown himself into after the Lich King’s hold over him was broken. She’d helped point him at finding new ways to live with what he was and, while they were close, it was more friendship than anything. The relationship of two peers.

Hresden, despite being near the same age as her, had been foundering when they’d first met after he and his sister had joined the Horde amongst the crowd of sin’dorei. With his sister having her own problems, she’d found little time for his and Caren had been the one who discovered him in the middle of panic attack behind a hut in Thunder Bluff. She’d calmed him and simply sat with him, asking for no explanation but he’d given it freely. That had prompted her to share her own experiences with loss, eventually telling him things she hadn’t even shared with her own sister. They’d built a deep friendship off of the shared loss of family and home and eventually something even stronger had come from that relationship.

“Well,” drawled Necronim, breaking the moment, “gang’s all here. We doing this then?”

Snorting, Hresden pulled his hand back and swung down from his horse as he asked, “You impatient to die, Nec?”

“Death would be a nice reprieve, elfy…but no. I’m just ready to kill these bastards who think they can just take our world and do what they want with it.”

Caren nodded, muttering, “You and I both, my friend,” as Hresden grasped the reins of his horse and pressed his forehead against her exposed skull. Corain made a little echoing whicker in response as he murmured something to her before snorting and butting her head hard against his chest. As the horse turned and walked off with an attitude that could only be described as affronted , she asked, “What did you say to her?”

“That I might not come back,” replied the elf sadly as he rubbed his chest. “I’m going to bet if I do, that pile of bones is going to be right here waiting and not going find my sister like I told her.”

“They’re loyal beasts, horses are,” Necronim noted. “Especially the undead ones. You screwed yourself on that one, old man.”

Hresden just smiled at that. “She didn’t give me much of a choice about taking her after I literally tripped over her. Stubborn old nag.”

Caren just shook her head then looked over at the ships as a bellow went up from several throats about boarding. “We need to go,” she pointed out, reaching out to rest a hand on both of their shoulders.

She felt Hresden take a deep breath and Necronim rolled his shoulders underneath her hand before he nodded sharply.

“Let’s go kill some fucking Legion,” commented the rogue gruffly.

Hresden nodded, saying simply, “Let’s.”

“Then walk, gentlemen,” Caren said firmly as she shifted her hands to their backs. “We still have a ways to go.”

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