(Originally written for the Feathermoon Ficlet Project '07)
Ceil said with a slightly embarrassed smile, “Neither Tarq or I have any damn clue how to decorate the flat. Last home that he had was that place in Stormwind – well, I'm sure you remember how obvious it was that a single man lived there.” Genise Crownsilver, sitting across the table from Ceil, had to laugh. Ceil shook her head and toyed with her dainty teacup. “And of course, this is the first place I've had to call home since Hyjal. So it's fairly important to both of us...”
“You're both just completely helpless with it!” Genise finished for the kal'dorei, laughing again. “As much as you tease Tarq, I've seen all those rooms you two rented before you found the Stormspire place. Let me tell you, dear, there's a reason you two were kicked out of so many of them!” Genise leaned over the table and gently patted Ceil's hand. “Don't worry. I've got the most perfect idea.”
Ceil raised her eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Let ME decorate for you!” The Sorceress flung out her arms, almost knocking over both of their teacups. She motioned to the bustling 'social establishment' around them. “I decorated the Silver Feather completely by myself, and just look how THAT came out!”
With a glance around the Silver Feather, Ceil gave a shrug. She missed that glint in Genise's eyes that she knew from many years of experience meant 'danger.'
“I suppose that could work.”
“Bugger me,” Tarquin said flatly from the front door of the Stormspire flat.
“Aye, I think that's just what she had in mind,” Ceil replied from his side, with no small amount of disbelieving awe.
Before them the flat had been transformed into something out a 'Ladies of the Lusty Isles' romance novel. All of the furniture was dark wood trimmed in lush burgundy velvet. The stone walls were covered with some gauzy material in frothy colors. There were scented candles on every flat surface. One of the living room walls was now covered in bookshelves, though neither Tarquin nor Ceil could work up the nerve to see what titles filled them. Nor would they dare to venture into their bedroom.
Ceil gave Tarquin a helpless look. “I like the bookshelves?”
“Look, boss, Geny's a good lass, but I wouldn't let her pick the napkins for the Pig, much less decorate yer flat,” Bricu Bittertongue told Tarquin with a knowing grin.
“Since when does the Pig have those sorta niceties?” Tarquin asked from behind a well needed glass of bourbon.
“Exactly,” was Bricu's point. “Tell yeh what. I need practice fer when me an' Threnny set up house. How about I try tossin' up a few things in yer flat? Least I can do fer Boss and Boss.”
Tarquin considered a moment, then nodded. “Long as yer not gonna make it a whorehouse.”
“I...I didn't know Bricu was so...so resourceful,” Ceil muttered, obviously reaching for the word. Tarquin could only stare at what had become of their flat this time.
A bar had been built onto the wall across from the bookshelves, covered in Bricu's own beautiful gemwork. The wall it had been built onto was now also covered in shelves, but lining these shelves, from corner to corner, from wall to floor, was every kind of alcohol in existance, and a few possibly just invented for this bar. Unfortunately, it seemed everything else in the apartment was now constructed from the cheap crates that all of the booze had been shipped in. The frothy wall coverings were gone, replaced with dozens of posters promoting goblin-run boxing events.
Tarquin finally tore himself away from staring to look at Ceil.“We're definitely keepin' the bloody bar.”
Ceil could only nod.
“Oh heavens no, Ceil, why would you ever let Tarquin allow Bricu to do such an important job?” Delion Oreweave asked with a chastising tone.
Ceil shrugged. She noticed she'd been doing that a lot, lately. “Well, I let Genise.”
Delion groaned and put one hand dramatically to his forehead. “You poor thing. Let me help! I need a good project.”
Ceil started to shrug, caught herself, and nodded instead. At least she was certain Delion didn't like boxing.
“Doilies...” Tarquin and Ceil breathed in horrified unison.
Doilies everywhere, over every surface. Their furniture was covered with hand-tatted lace, too delicate to sit or lay upon. All the windows in the flat were hung with dark lace curtains, lace tatted with decorative starry shapes. The new carpet over the stone floor was far too fancy, too beautiful to ever actually stand on. What was worse, the doilies seemed massed to attack at any moment. As they fled the very probable doily ambush, Ceil glanced over her shoulder and said,
“I really do love the curtains, though.”
“If Deli can do it, I be we can, too,” Shaila Viridiant exclaimed, pumping her fist. Next to her, Chelody Smallwing nodded.
“I bet we can. If you would like us to!”
Tarquin and Ceil exchanged glances over their drinks. They'd needed a good stiff drink after their encounter with the doilies. Ceil gave in and shrugged at Tarquin. He shrugged back.
“Why the hell not?” Both ap Danwyriths took another drink.
“Alright! Leave it to us!” Shaila said, high-fiving Chelody.
Their kitchen was outfit with every kind of tool ever needed for butchering any creature in Azeroth, the Outlands and any other world they'd ever happen to come across. Trollish decorations were all over the flat, chiefly consisting of a great many skulls. There were a few beads and feathers here and there, but it was mostly skulls.
There were plants just as pervasive but less threatening than the doilies had been. The flat was filled with more foliage than the ecodome outside.
After most of their friends, nearly all the Riders and a perfect stranger or two had volunteered to decorate and 'fix' whatever the last decorator's disater had been, Tarquin and Ceil finally had their home fully decorated. After picking one or two things from each decor that they actually liked, it was possible to say with full faith their home was unlike any other.
Still, a final touch remained.
On the small archway just beyond the front door of the flat, leading into the apartment, Tarquin hammered a few nails on each side. Ceil took a moment to hang and adjust two framed tabards.
Together, they stepped back to admire the tabards. One had a blood stained gash across it, with a score of smaller rips and tears. The other was badly wrinkled, splattered with mud and road dirt. Both were faded with age and wear. The tabards had a raven picked in crimson across a black field.
Tarquin and Ceil ap Danwyrith were home.
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