Chapter 1: Glorious
She was going to die. She felt it in her bones and saw it in his red eyes.
So much for the prophecy of defeating Alduin, she thought bitterly as she fell back on a snow drift; Alduin’s wing slamming into her as she tried to cut him down.
She’d spent months on Solstheim(with Miraak...banish the thought!), learning new shouts, not to mention that Elder Scroll that helped her learn Dragon Rend(don’t even get her started on what had to be done to GET said Elder Scroll). The Daedra(another thought to be banished) that she had encountered and helped(maybe?). Probably years in training with the Greybeards, her work with the Companions, and the other guilds; always training...and it wasn’t enough.
Although...she had felt the sweet taste of victory when Alduin had exclaimed in surprise at being forced to the ground...
Short lived though it was.
Akatosh’s first born was not limited by the ground. At all. His teeth, wings, claws and tail all weapons to be avoided(notice how his breath is not mentioned?). Though how, she did not have a clue. His size dominated the mountain top, and Paarthurnax was NOT helping matters(and that’s why not mentioned).
She growled low in her throat as his black tail slammed down where she had been but moments ago(her time in the Thieve’s Guild saved her butt here). Spikes from the tail, which she knew had not been there before, retreating as the tail was stuck in the ice.
So Alduin had a mace at the end of his tail...of course he did. He probably had swords lined in his wings too! Poison claws? Why not? She bet his teeth were enchanted too, instakill at a 100%, coupled with ALL THE DISEASES perhaps, in case the 100% didn’t kill her?
Gripping her two handed sword tightly in a white knuckle grip, the Dragonborn roared a glorious war cry and ran straight towards his head. She would die with honour if this was it, enchanted teeth be damned. He’d at least have one hell of a sore head after she was done with him, or maybe he’d break an enchanted tooth on her ebony armour, and poison himself and die. Maybe the prophecy was right after all. It never mentioned whether she lived or died, only that she defeated him.
Would it count if he died by his own enchanted tooth, broken on her armour? One could only hope.
A blast of flame from above stopped her dead in her tracks. Damn it Paarthurnax! Her momentum from the charge still carried her forward, and as her legs were no longer under her control(cause you know, she stopped them), she stumbled. That’s right. She fell on her glorious ass.
She could see it all in her head. Like a magic show. Her glorious charge. Her vivid red hair shining in the sun...well...clouded sun...all right there was a blizzard happening but it still shone! Her sword thirsty for more dragon blood. Ready to die in glorious battle that would be sung for Ages if Man survived the World Eater, which they probably wouldn’t...but that’s besides the point. Alduin moving in slow motion, his jaws opening wide with a thick string of saliva between his upper and lower jaw, the powerful black neck drawing back in the shape of an S.
And there the glorious show ended. She was on her ass now, her sword not even in her hands(where was it?). And Alduin? He was a big giant ball of flames, oh yeah, cause he wasn’t intimidating at all before. Now he was covered in fucking flames. Covered! Like practically head to fucking claw! And he wore that shit like a cloak!
No longer was he aiming for her, his roar of pain(hopefully) and own wall of flames(by the gods is that black fire? Not a word she knew!) aimed at the aged dragon. Paarthurnax, obviously no longer in his prime of dragonhood, was not able to dodge the Shout and it hit him square in the chest.
She heard him grunt, and fall. She did not see him land, as she was still in the glorious ass-sitting-in-snow position. Had she already mentioned it was all in slow motion? And where was her gods be damned sword?!
Her eyes zeroed in on it, about two feet ahead, CLOSER to the still-flaming Alduin. Of course it would be closer. Why had she ever thought it would have landed backwards or sideways?
Still moving at a slow pace, Alduin’s red eyes narrowed in on her as she stumbled(yes, she stumbled to her feet) towards her sword. His head snapped around in her direction and the flames covering his body extinguished, as if by magic. He now smouldered and smoked, like he was some drying lava dragon. By the gods she would burn if she touched him now, or worst, her armour would melt into her skin, and she would die a very un-glorious death on a mountain top, unrecognizable from the molten ebony mound she would become.
All right. She was Nord. Cold never bothered her. She had a spare set of light dragon armour in her pack. This was the plan: lose ebony, dodge angry molten black dragon of death, wear light armour, resume fighting. Easy as pie, right?
So this is how it really went.
She veered away from her sword in her stumble, cause she didn’t want to collide with inferno dragon, while stripping. Yes. She was dropping ebony like an overloaded bandit, leaving a trail of heavy armour in her wake.
Wearing nothing but her smalls, she continued running AWAY from Alduin,(in the middle of a blizzard AND barefooted) who by now had stopped doing whatever he had been about to do(probably roast her alive) and was observing her weirdly. Cause he was use to seeing stripping Nords as they battled him. He just HAD that effect.
She was trying to keep an eye on the black dragon while rummaging through her pack, and as such, wasn’t really paying attention to what was ahead.
You got it.
A rock. A big, hard, ice covered nasty boulder that would have been utterly avoidable under ANY other circumstances, except this one.
Oh yes, her glorious battle was just getting better and better.
She got the wind knocked out of her briefly, and her eyes watered almost instantly as pain exploded in her face. Her vision blurred and she saw stars but for a moment. Her nose had broken, and was now bleeding like a sieve, running down her face, into her mouth and down her chin.
Her fingers clenched on her dragon scale armour as she finally pulled it from her pack. And that’s where shit got weird. Really weird.
Time seemed to come to a stop. At least it felt that way. The blizzard was gone, and the air got suddenly heavier and hotter. There was no more sound, the grey skies of Skyrim had turned black and red, and were kind of...swirling.
Her eyes widened and she whirled around to face Alduin(cause he’s the cause of swirling skies usually. Think Helgen.). He was still staring at her, but...it was not focused. It was like he wasn’t conscious almost, which made no sense. But, he was not moving; at all.
She swallowed a dry lump and whirled around again, the light armour forgotten in her hands, as was the still bleeding nose she was sporting.
By the Nine...where in Oblivion was she?
“Oh but he’s got sharp teeth,” a voice she would never forget exclaimed from behind her, which meant near Alduin.
She whirled on her feet again and her eyes became the size of septims.
“Sanguine?!” she exclaimed. The Daedra was up close and personal with Alduin, peering into his mouth full of razor sharp teeth.
“And us! Or they? Definitely I!” Another voice that made her shudder inwardly. Sheogorath. The Divines were mocking her. This was a sick and humourless joke.
“He was right you know,” Sanguine giggled as he winked at the Dragonborn. “You really did strip for Alduin.” She felt her entire body heat in embarrassment, and her face probably turned a couple of shades of purple for good measure. Curse the Daedra! And then Sanguine continued, “Since we had a bit of a friendly bet,” he winked at the Sheogorath,(Uh oh) “and you did as he predicted,” he turned to Sheogorath, “How did you know she would strip?! It’s killing me!” and almost as if he hadn’t suddenly burst out in almost-excitement, returned his attention towards the Dragonborn. “You get to live.”
The world tilted slightly as a pressure on her chest lifted. She had never fainted before but she came perilously close. And then as quickly as the relief came, a feeling of intense dread crept into her heart. This was the Daedra. There was a catch...
“But...” Here it came. “He also gets to live.” Sanguine pointed towards Alduin, and then grinned a toothy smile as he stepped away from the massive unmoving black dragon.
“Can I wabbajack?” Sheogorath begged, coming to stand close to Sanguine, and then frowned, “Where is my wabbajack?” he shrugged after a minute, and continued, “I’ll just leg him. Or maybe tongue him? How would he taste? He looks like a chicken flavour.” The mad Prince was eyeing Alduin with consideration.
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. On her wall, in Breezehome. Along with the other Daedra artifacts she had collected over the years. As for the rest of the nonsense, well...let’s be honest. She would pay good gold to see any Daedra tongue Alduin.
Both alive. Fuck.
But second chance. Yay?
Inward sigh, more training.
“But let’s shake things up. Make you into Alduin and Alduin into you!” Sanguine snickered.
Her heart dropped. She sucked at being the Dragonborn, now she would get to suck at being the World Eater and get dominated by Alduin the Dragonborn. Glorious.
“No! I said dragons and Nords,” Sheogorath exclaimed suddenly, pointing at both the Dragonborn and Alduin at the same time with both hands.
“Oh right!” Sanguine giggled again. “Alduin needs to get drunk, steal a goat,” Sanguine winked at her, “And fuck a hagraven. His debauchery needs to be refocused.”
She blushed even more and felt a small bit of bile form at the back of her throat at that reminder. She had not fucked a hagraven. Mild petting(and she prayed every night that this was true) had been as far as she could have conceded to go. Even at her most inebriated, she had never woken next to Torvar in the Companions(and that’s saying a lot).
“What do you get when you cross a Nord and a Dragon?” Sanguine asked as he opened his arms wide.
“A Dragonord!” Sheogorath squealed with delight and then clapped his hands quickly. “Oh! Oh! Oh! Put a Nord head on a dragon body! WAIT!” he paused, “Put a dragon head on a Nord body!”
She stared hard at Alduin, almost willing him to snap out of whatever state he was in. Could the World Eater eat a Daedra? Could the Daedra even die? She’d never heard of a Daedra dying before...wishful thinking on her part? Facing Alduin, with certain death, suddenly held more appeal than doing/becoming whatever these two were planning.
“All jesting aside,” Sanguine’s voice suddenly got serious, “You’re my favourite drinking buddy,” he smiled a faint smile as he turned to face Alduin, “And he kind of likes you too,” he nodded towards Sheogorath, “We couldn’t just sit there and watch you die, I don’t want to fight with the other Princes for your soul just yet. So we’re bending the rules just a little.”
She frowned. Rules?
“Jyggalag is going to shit a mammoth!” Sheogorath giggled uncontrollably.
“All this prophecy nonsense,” Sanguine waved it off as though it meant nothing, “Let’s have fun!”
She opened her mouth to say something when Sanguine grabbed her by the waist, pulled her close to himself(she felt every single muscle tense in reaction) and leaned his head down(gods he was tall...) to whisper in her ear. How in the world had he gotten so close to her so suddenly?