Romance & Fantasy short. A warrior has tension with the rogue in their party.
7.5k, rated M, M/M. Just some romance and learning to understand one another. A mercenary — not an adventurer, thanks much — struggles to understand the compulsive deception of the party’s rogue.
Adapted from a TweetFic. Mentions of sex work, past sexual abuse, trafficking, implied gender dysphoria, some power dynamics.
Bale has never much liked the word “adventurer”. Many of those he works and travels with disdain being called mercenaries or swordsmen or hired blades, don’t like the emphasis on the fights they get into — they want to be known for their exploring, their discovering, the mysteries they solve, the personal disputes they manage and tamp down.
As far as he sees it, they end up leaving piles of corpses either way.
Bale doesn’t see much point in equivocating. He’s been at this for years, ever since he was old enough for his father to throw his hands up and replace the hammer in his hands with a sword instead, advise him to leave the forge to him and his sister and go off to make his fortune.
Bale hasn’t made a fortune just yet, but he makes good money, sends most of it home to his da and sister — the smithy has three more floors than it used to, has boarding space for passing adventurers, and a warehouse, and shares in a local mine, and their rooms are bigger and more luxurious than they were before.
“You could retire,” his da keeps telling him. “You’re past five-and-forty — you can’t keep at it forever.”
Bale likes the idea of being called a “retiree” even less than he does an “adventurer”.
This newest hero he’s been following — it seems to Bale that every other sod is a hero or chosen one or champion or friend of the people or whatever else — is a decent sort, charitable, patient.
Case in point, the newest member of their party: there’s the Champion, bright-eyed and not-so-much naïve as they are painfully good-natured; there’s Deezia, a quiet and smoky mage that thankfully doesn’t show much interest in chatting to Bale; there’s Bale himself, tired and bitter and more than a bit grumpy; and now…