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Spring cleaning! I'm going through my WIP folder and trying to finally post those fics that have been a paragraph or two away from completion for literal months. This is the first of the batch.

Summary: Missing scene from Maestro. Because when you've been captured by drow and can't escape, there's nothing to distract you from hitting your ex-boyfriend/business partner in the face with his bad life choices.
Wordcount: 851

Entreri hadn't spoken to Jarlaxle since the dark elves had captured them. Now, watching a priestess pick through their confiscated weapons on the other side of the lightning, Entreri contemplated just never speaking to Jarlaxle again, period.

Yvonnel saw Entreri watching and picked up Charon's Claw with a satisfied smirk, testing the weight with a few careful swings. Her hand tightened on the hilt and her eyes widened for a moment as she glanced between the sword and the cage. Then she settled back into a smirk.

"I see why you were so upset to lose this," she said. Entreri felt his limbs freeze of their own accord. Without his prompting, his hands reached out towards the lightning bars and got close enough that the hair on his arms stood up. Then she laughed and he pulled away, falling to his knees with a shuddering intake of breath. "Relax, iblith. I have no use for it. Who would bother with this level of magic to control a mere human?"

Her eyes flickered to Jarlaxle, who had been watching the exchange warily, eyes wide. He had one hand half-raised as if he had been ready to pull Artemis away from the lightning.

"Other than the obvious, I suppose." She dropped the sword into the bag with a laugh and walked away.

Jarlaxle frowned and rested a hand on Entreri's shoulder. Entreri realized that he was shaking and tried to still himself. He felt nauseous.

"She has the sword," he croaked. He took in a deep breath.

"She has no interest in using it," Jarlaxle reassured him. He ran both hands along Entreri's shoulders soothingly. Entreri recoiled from him, barely missing a brush with the lightning along the edges of their cage.

"Yet. She has no interest in using it yet." He crossed his arms, willing his hands to stop trembling. "That will change."

Jarlaxle frowned but didn't argue with him.

"This is your fault," Entreri said quietly. "If you hadn't taken it out of the volcano—"

"—then someone else would have!" Jarlaxle had curled up on the other side of the cage, arms crossed. Something about that seemed strange, but Entreri wasn't sure what. "And you would have been caught unaware."

"You made a mistake," Entreri growled. Jarlaxle was silent and the only noise was the crackling of the bars and Dahlia's quiet murmurs. Entreri pulled his legs close to his chest and tried to feel calm.

"I have made more than one mistake," Jarlaxle finally said.

Artemis looked up, attention caught. Jarlaxle laughed joylessly.

"You always overestimate me, my friend." Jarlaxle lay down, arranging his arms behind his head like a pillow. Without his eyepatch and with his bare feet pressed against the stone, he seemed more vulnerable than Entreri had ever seen him before. The side of his face was still bruised from where Dahlia had punched him. "You keep attributing your problems to my malice when you should blame them on my incompetence instead."

Artemis was silent.

"We will fix this," Jarlaxle said.

"'We'?" Entreri asked, his voice dry.

"Yes. We've always been more effective working in concert with each other, rather than against each other."

"Drizzt is dead or on another plane, Dahlia can barely walk, you don't have any of your tricks or even shoes, and that priestess could make me slit my own throat on a whim." Entreri's voice was thick with disdain. "But I am certain that we'll get out of this if we pretend to be friends again."

Jarlaxle winced and turned away.

For a while, they only sat and listened. Entreri tried to count how many guards there were, but it was impossible to differentiate them from behind the white flashes of light.

Dahlia's twitch was the only warning before she kicked Jarlaxle in the knee, sending him backward towards the crackling electricity. Artemis jumped forward to hold her still, but she stopped attacking after that, laying limp and shaking in his arms.

"I don't want you here. Go away." Then she said something that sounded like elvish. Then Thayan. Then in heavily accented drow, "Go elsewhere. Leave."

Only if you're coming with me. From Jarlaxle's sharp glance, Entreri wondered if he'd spoken aloud.

"When was the last time you slept?" Jarlaxle asked. He moved slightly out of Dahlia's line of sight, and she seemed to relax.

"Sometime before we got to Menzoberranzan."

"That's what I thought. You should rest." He nodded at Dahlia. "I'll watch over her."

With reluctance, Entreri curled into a ball, keeping one hand curled around Dahlia's. He could feel Jarlaxle settle near his shoulder, still out of Dahlia's line of sight, and start speaking softly in Elvish. Entreri didn't know what was being said, but it sounded soothing and Dahlia seemed to get more calm, so he closed his eyes. Disguising the movement as shifting into a more comfortable posistion on the stone floor, Artemis extended his unoccupied hand and rested it against Jarlaxle's arm.

There was a brief hitch in Jarlaxle's voice, but he didn't pull away or stop speaking. They lay like that for some time.

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