In celebration of them getting moved in-game again, I'm reposting my dorky, totally SFW Jadaar/Asric fic here. (That and y!gallery is down again.) Somebody at Blizzard likes these two an awful lot, because they've had more plot development in the last two or so years than most of the main characters in the game....
The Blame Game
Released from service. Let go. Fired.
They'd fired him! What was the world coming to?
Peacekeeper Jadaar--no, just Jadaar now--dragged his hooves as he departed from the temple and made his way to the elevator. A few of the vindicators wouldn't look at him. A smattering of peoples, from both the Horde and Alliance, gawked curiously as he passed by. He supposed that his impassioned plea for another chance had carried through much of the otherwise quiet Rise.
But no, there was no mercy from the Sha’tar today.
Two trolls were gesturing at him while they spoke in loud whispers and shook their heads. Trolls! If it hadn’t been for that shady troll peddling his wares in the Lower City, this might not have happened. Jadaar considered this as he stepped onto the elevator. Those worthless trinkets were going to haunt him forever now, and that blasted troll was probably laughing his tusks off at Jadaar’s failure. Soap on a rope, indeed! What nonsense!
Jadaar rode the elevator down, briefly considering throwing himself off. He decided against it, deciding that it was silly to kill oneself over lost employment. He would simply have to find something else to do.
After disembarking, he tilted his head back and watched the elevator ascend to the heavens of the Aldor's sanctum without him. Where was the kindness and understanding of the Light's followers now? He had been a faithful member of the Aldor and served the Sha’tar for years, and this was how he was thanked. Termination of his employment--and it was all that damned blood elf's fault!
"So, they fired you too, I see."
Jadaar's thick tail twitched. He did not have to look behind him to know the owner of that voice. That horrible, condescending, meddlesome, idiotic vo--
"Too?" Jadaar blinked, and turned slowly. Investigator Asric was indeed standing behind him. If it were possible, the blood elf looked slightly humbled. Jadaar wasn't sure that was possible, though. He shook his head. "You! You irresponsible brat, this is all your fault!"
"My fault?" A long reddish-brown brow quirked. "I thought you were an idiot all on your own power."
"I am--no, that is not what I meant." Jadaar stooped slightly and pointed a big finger in the elf's face. "I should kill you for this, if I felt I had any honor left to defend. If you were not such an incompetent fool I wouldn't be in this predicament, and I wouldn't have to be...be..." Jadaar faltered in his ranting as Asric turned on his boot heel and began to walk off. "Where are you going?"
"To the Lower City," Asric said. "I'm hungry and tired of listening to you."
"So you just came over here to gloat at me?"
Asric paused. "Something like that. Although, I don't suppose I have much to gloat about at the moment." He continued walking, and Jadaar hurried after the man. He wasn't sure what else to do. He had nowhere else to go.
"You were fired as well?"
"No thanks to you." Jadaar studied the shorter man as they walked. He seemed like a different person without his black and gold tabard on. Of course, Jadaar would have to admit that he felt half naked without his usual work robes on.
“You are just as much at fault in your getting fired as I might be,” Jadaar said. He was briefly distracted by the way the tips of the elf’s ears bounced as he walked. He couldn’t quite remember Asric walking that much. The man was usually just standing around sneering at people. The thought that the elf might actually be capable of doing more than that was almost amusing.
“You aren’t listening to me, are you?”
“No, I’m not,” Jadaar said. “Why do your ears bounce like that?”
Asric stopped and looked up at the draenei. He somehow managed to look both embarrassed and angry at the same time.
“I don’t know,” he snapped. “Why do you wear that silly looking eye patch?”
“If I showed you that, you wouldn’t need to go find something to eat,” Jadaar said. He moved his hand to his right eye. “Still curious?”
The elf cringed. “No, not that much.” He waved a hand dismissively at Jadaar and continued walking. “Keep it on; I don’t need you giving me any more nightmares than you already have.”
Jadaar was pretty certain that he did not really want to know what that meant. In all likelihood it would lead to a situation that would cause him to be apprehended by his former coworkers. He’d already been fired and banished and thoroughly humiliated, he didn’t need to spend time musing over these points in a holding cell.
Eventually they reached the Lower City. Asric nimbly maneuvered around vendors peddling their various wares. Jadaar did his best to not hit things with his tail. He had always disliked the general claustrophobic nature of area, and today’s market did not disappoint. There were a great deal of people present. Some were buying food, others were buying armor, and still some others appeared to be in the midst of less proper business activities. Jadaar had to curb himself from threatening to throw a few of the scantily clad ladies out of town. He was no longer under the authority to do so, and their clients looked glad by it. Of course, that didn’t mean that Jadaar did not stop to tell the girls to put on some more clothing.
Asric disappeared from Jadaar’s line of sight while Jadaar was lecturing the locals. When he found the elf again, Asric was standing next to a large, dopey looking ogre. Jadaar knew immediately where he was, and the shouting of an orc from nearby was only enough to prove him right.
“Your time is short, fruit vendor! Today will be the day!”
Jadaar was pretty sure that the old woman standing next to her fruit cart was pretending not to hear him.
“Sure is a lovely day for a walk, isn’t it?” she was chiming at Asric.
Jadaar muttered as he stopped next to Asric. “I could have sworn my men handled that lunatic orc.”
“Well, if your men were put to the task, then I’m not surprised that he’s still there.” The blood elf studied the contents of the fruit vendor's cart. "Buy me something."
"What? You got me fired; I'm not going to buy you anything!"
"You got yourself fired, blueblood." Asric smiled thinly. "I just helped."
Jadaar snorted. "Then I returned the favor."
"In that case we're even, relatively speaking." Asric gestured at the fruit. "So, buy me something."
"I'm not going to buy you anything!"
"Think of it as a token of good will," Asric said, still smiling.
"Of good will? I don't feel good will toward you, elf! If I wasn't such a good person I would rip your ears off!"
Asric could not help but wince at this. "That's cruel."
"You don't deserve anything better than that."
"Why, because you're an idiot who couldn't do his job?"
"Y-no, because you're the idiot!"
"Oh, don't shout, Jadaar." He sighed and waved a hand at the draenei. "You're going to cause a scene, as usual, and I think the orc is already causing enough of one for all of us."
"I am doing it only because you are leading me to do so." Jadaar closed his eyes and tried to will a bit of calmness into himself. It was difficult with the blasted elf smirking up at him and the equally blasted orc shouting a few yards away. He opened his eyes after a moment, not really feeling any calmer, and picked up two apples from the cart. After paying the proper coinage to the pleasantly oblivious fruit vendor, Jadaar turned and shoved one of the apples in Asric's face.
The elf blinked. "For me? I thought you weren't going to buy me anything."
"I am not buying this as a token of good will. I am buying it in hopes that putting something in your obnoxious little mouth will shut you up for a few minutes."
The right corner of Asric’s mouth quirked up as he considered the offer. He took the apple. "Thank you."
Jadaar clenched his jaw. "You are welcome." He turned started to walk toward the exit to the Lower City. To his dismay, the blood elf opted to follow him.
He paused and turned to look down at the former Scryer with his good eye. "Why are you following me, now? You are as bad as Technician Halmaha's crazy stalker ex-girlfriend."
Asric smirked. "I'm far better looking than any of your kind's females, Jadaar." He took a noisy bite of his apple.
"I will have you know, draenei women are the epitome of loveliness!" Jadaar shook his apple at the blood elf. "My mother was a very lovely lady."
"Well, I'm sure, if you're into horns and hooves and tails and the like."
Jadaar huffed. "I happen to be quite fond of them."
"Suit yourself." Asric shrugged and focused on his food. "I can't really say that draenei men are as good looking as the women."
He shrugged again. Asric glanced around for a moment before picking a bit of apple skin from between his teeth. "Oh, don't feel sore about it, Jadaar. Not everyone can be pretty." He flicked the bit of skin from his nail. "Look on the bright side; at least you don't have peculiar appendages sprouting from your chin. And you don't look like you got beaten in the face with your own weapon."
Jadaar was starting to want to beat him in the face with his apple, but that would be a waste of produce. "Is that supposed to be a compliment?"
"Mm, no, not really." Asric grinned before continuing with his apple. His next words were spoken around the fruit: "The eye patch is a nice touch, though."
The draenei sighed and turned away again. He continued walking, and Asric followed. He muttered to himself. "All the sin'dorei really are a bunch of vain pretty boys, aren't they?"
"What was that?"
"Nothing. Just eat your stupid apple."
Jadaar considered his options while walking the long circuit around Shattrath. He’d taken this route many times before during his work, and it usually helped clear his mind. Not so today. Of course, he would have had an easier time thinking, but Asric was still following him and offering his usual condescending commentary on the locals. Even giving the elf the other apple had not been enough to steer Asric away from a verbal dissertation on the untrustworthiness of the refugees.
“Oh, come off it, Asric. They have had a hard hand dealt to them and are doing the best they can.”
“These fools know nothing of real suffering,” Asric said. He crossed his arms and looked sulkily up at the draenei. “And neither would you.”
“Neither would I?”
“No. You have no idea what it’s like to have your home destroyed—“
“Your family murdered,” Jadaar added.
“Yes, your home destroyed, your family murdered, driven out of your mind by hunger--“
“Chased by something worse than death at every turn.”
“—wishing for peace, hoping and praying for it, being led on by the Light-damned nose because you were so desperate—“
“Only to find that no matter where you went, you weren’t really safe.”
“—weren’t really home.” Asric paused. “You know, it really doesn’t have the same punch if the person you’re trying to argue with has had the same sort of miserable life as you.”
“Welcome to my world,” Jadaar said. He sighed as he studied the architecture of the city around them. “After all of this, I believe I am ready to be rid of it.”
Asric cocked his head as he looked up at him. “Really? Just like that?”
“I am not wanted here anymore.”
“I never wanted you here.”
“The feeling is mutual.” Jadaar looked to the center of the city. There were portals within the central structure that would take him to Azeroth. He’d never been there before, but he knew that a number of the surviving draenei had taken to calling the mysterious new world home. A place to base their final stand against the Burning Legion. Perhaps a place to stay for more than a few hundred years without everything crashing down around them. “I believe I will go to Azeroth.”
“Is there any place else to go?”
“Don’t answer a question with a question,” Asric said with a sniff.
“I have word of a place there called Northrend. I believe I will head there in hopes of work.”
Asric said nothing for a moment before he hurried around to the front of the draenei. "Well, then, I'm going with you."
“What?” Jadaar's eye widened for a moment, and then quickly narrowed. "Why are you insisting on following me? What do you care?"
"I don't care," Asric said. He smirked. "But if you're going to go to Northrend, I want to be there when you get yourself killed."
"So I can laugh at you, of course."
Jadaar turned away from the elf as he muttered under his breath. "Insufferable bastard." He started up a ramp way. At the sound of boots scuffing hurriedly after him, Jadaar bristled. He turned and snapped at the shorter man. “Stop following me, already! I am done with you, and I am most certainly not letting you follow me all over creation!”
Jadaar did not wait for Asric’s inevitable retort before stalking up the ramp. As he reached the top of the ramp, Jadaar cast a glance over his shoulder. He was surprised to find Asric where he had left him. The blood elf's bright green eyes were unfocused, not quite staring at a spot on the walkway. His look was so unguarded and pathetic that Jadaar almost felt sorry for him. Almost. This whole thing, after all, was the blood elf's fault.
Jadaar sighed. "I am going to regret this." He cleared his throat and shouted down the ramp. "Asric!"
The elf blinked out of whatever peculiar state had overcome him, defenses immediately returning to his countenance. He looked up.
"What is it, you windbag? I thought you were leaving."
"I am." Jadaar hesitated, knowing what he was doing was a bad idea. But deep down he was a good person, had been raised to be such, and he knew that it would eventually bother him if he left the blood elf alone here like the unwanted dog he was. "If you do not mind the members of the Alliance trying to kill you, you can come along with me."
Asric blinked again. He snorted and turned his face away. "Like they could do anything to me."
"You sound quite sure of that."
"I am." He still wasn't looking up the ramp. "After all, I'd have my big blue bodyguard with me, wouldn't I?"
"I am not going to be your bodyguard!"
"Well, you had better at least not let them kill me." Asric faced him again and started lazily up the ramp. "After all, if I died, I would come back and haunt you. And trust me, elves make for very bothersome ghosts."
"You make for very bothersome people in the flesh, as well."
Asric crossed his arms. He came to a stop a few feet from the draenei.
"So... Alright." Asric cast a look at the city around them. He looked uncomfortable for a moment. "Do you know anyone on Azeroth?"
"I'm certain I know someone who has wound up there," Jadaar said. He wasn't too sure about that, but he had to know at least one draenei who had wound up on Azeroth. "What about you?"
"Most of the people I knew before coming here are likely now of the bothersome ghost sort."
"You said you were heading to Northrend?"
Jadaar nodded. "That is where the fight has gone. And so, that is the best place to go."
"How do you figure?"
"Where there is war, there is work to be found," Jadaar said. "I mean, look around. How else would a worthless fool like you ever gotten a job if we had not been fighting the Burning Legion?"
Asric's brow ticked. "We were fighting for the same cause, draenei, shut your mouth."
"Don't tell me what to do, elf." Jadaar scratched at the skin next to his eye patch. "The talk at the inn was that the war in Northrend is due to the Scourge. A bunch of undead, or something like that."
Asric's expression clouded. "Yes, I'm aware of them." He cast a look to the ground. “They are to my kind as the Burning Legion was to your kind.” He considered his words, and shook his head. “No, they are a completely different monster. Worse, perhaps, in their own way.”
“I don’t see how anything could be worse than the Burning Legion.”
The blood elf seemed to be considering his companion’s hooves. “Trust me, if we really do make it to Northrend, you’ll see just what I mean.”
“I will take your word on that.” Jadaar rested his hands on his hips and gazed down at the little elf. “Although I suppose it is worthless now to try and convince you to not follow me.”
Asric looked at the floor for a long moment. Jadaar had to lean in to hear his next words.
“Because I don’t want to be alone, okay? And you are the closest thing here that I have to a friend.”
“Aren’t friends supposed to like each other, Asric? You calling me your friend is nearly comedic.”
The elf glanced up. “I suppose it is.” He shrugged. “Forget I said it, then.”
Jadaar reached down and ruffled the blood elf’s hair. Asric nearly shrieked as his careful coif was ruined. “I suppose I can do that.”
“Oh, stop it! You monster!”
Jadaar smirked. “Go gather your things, Asric. I will meet with you near the portals in an hour.”
Asric scowled as he attempted to fix his hair. Then the smirk returned to his features.
“It won’t take me that long, but if you need an hour for tearful goodbye with your bunkmates, I’ll be waiting for you.”
Jadaar made a rude gesture at Asric’s departing backside.
“Light grant me strength.” He sighed. “I’m going to need it.”
- Jadaar/Asric fic repost.. "The Blame Game"