Until Next Time

By Shaymed

It was a hot day, the sun beating down on Grimory’s head as he strode through the small town of Bradensbrook. The inhabitants smiled and waved their eternal thanks for his help liberating them from the assassins, which had taken advantage of the Legion scare to come to prey on the people. Since then, Grimory had found it a relaxing area in which to fish—a secret he didn’t intend on sharing with others.

“Are they biting this morning?” he asked the night elf as he purchased a small tin of worms for bait.

“Oh, they are. But you’ve got some competition today.”

The demon hunter furrowed his brow. “Who?”

The man shrugged. “White haired lass. Freckles across her nose, fair skinned. Pretty little thing. Been coming ‘round about as long as you, but never gives her name. Likes her privacy, same as you.”

Grimory pursed his lips and nodded his thanks, then headed for his spot around the side of a hill, which gave an illusion of solitude. As he rounded the corner, he heard a clatter and a tinkle. There, lying on the dirt path, just beside the cobblestone circle that was part of Blackrook Hold, was a golden fishing pole with pink jewels and little wings at the top of the handle. He picked up the thing, noting how it was well used, but also well cared for.

Pain bit into the flesh at the small of Grimory’s back. He dropped the pole and fell backward as his limbs numbed over. She entered his line of sight, a sneer on her lips and a dagger in her hand. She picked up the fishing pole, then stood over him.

“Who told you about this place? Why are you here?” Crorinu demanded.

“This is my spot,” Grimory growled.

“No, it’s mine. I’ve been coming here for months.”

“As have I.”

She folded her arms over her chest. “I’m not sharing it.”

Grimory quickly regained feeling in his limbs. “Neither am I!” he said as he lurched forward and dragged her legs from beneath her.

Crorinu kicked the side of his head and rolled away, then popped onto her feet. Grimory stood as well. He stared at her for a long time.

“I’m not going to figh—”

A dagger flew just past his ear, slicing into the cartilage and stinging as poison seeped into the wound.

“Then be a good little bitch and be on your way. And don’t come back.” Crorinu stooped to gather his bait for herself.

Grimory reached out his hand; a sigil painted itself on the ground beneath the rogue’s feet. He smirked.

“What’s so—” She followed his gaze to her feet. “Oh, fu—” Flames popped from the sigil before she could jump out. She dropped the tin to the ground and threw herself down after it, rolling to extinguish the green flames.

Grimory’s arms mutated, fel fire creeping up to his biceps as his fingers grew into smoldering claws. “Why exactly do you hate me? What did I do to you, huh?”

Crorinu merely growled and stepped through the shadows to bring her daggers up into his back again. But this time Grimory was prepared. The moment he saw the purple shimmer of smoke, he turned and stretched out a hand, catching her neck and around her cheeks in his giant fist. She gripped his wrist with her hands and scrabbled against him. After a moment of struggling, she swung around to kick him in the face and twist her head out of his grasp. Grimory caught her before she could get away and threw her to the ground.

“What did I ever do to you?” he demanded.

His hand raised over his head and came down on her raised arm. The bone within shattered and she screamed out, then skittered backward.

Nothing!” She tossed several taggers at him, one after the other.

He put his hands up and the blades clattered to the ground. “Then why do you hate me?”

She didn’t respond as she scrambled to her feet, one dagger in her uninjured hand. She stepped through the shadows again, slicing into his ribs as he turned to grab her. He roared in pain and threw her into a haystack. He tore the top of the stack off and grabbed the back of the burrowing rogue’s jacket. He held her in his face, dangling like a kitten.

Why do you hate me?

I don’t!

Grimory’s face softened and he blinked at her. “But, then why—”

Crorinu grabbed his horn with her good hand and dragged herself closer, then pressed a kiss into his lips. She pulled away, her eyes narrowed at him. “Idiot.”

Grimory let her go and stepped back, his hands returning to normal. “But you stabbed me! A lot!”

She dropped back into the hay to cradle her arm. “Didn’t kill you.”

“But you stabbed me. A lot,” he repeated slowly.

“Okay, so I don’t know how to get someone’s attention outside a tavern and buying them drinks so we can get plastered and do shit we might regret, okay?”

Grimory’s eyes narrowed involuntarily at the familiar pick-up method. “So you s—”

Yes I stabbed you, okay?” Crorinu reached into a pouch on the thigh of her lavender pants and withdrew a roll of gauze and a few bandages. “Would I do it again? Yes. Now come here so I can neutralize that poison before your ear falls off.”

Grimory practically threw himself beside her. “Will it really fall off?” he asked frantically.

She laughed as she finished bandaging the ear. “No. But it got you down here, didn’t it?”

The demon hunter scowled at her and yanked the gauze from her hand. “Clever ass.”

“Vain shitbag.”

He wrapped her arm with sticks on either side to keep it stable. “I’m sorry,” he said, not unimpressed with how composed she was over the injury.

She shrugged as he wrapped gauze around the back of her neck to create a makeshift sling. “I’ve had worse.”

He remained close to her for a long time, then leaned back again to wrap a bandage around the slice across her neck from his claws. His hands worked slowly and lingered unnecessarily.

Crorinu took two large cotton pads and pressed them into Grimory’s back—they had no issue sticking to the blood from his wounds. With her one free hand, she wrapped the gauze around his waist, leaning in and out—getting close enough for both of them to feel the heat of the other’s body, then leaning away and leaving a strange, cold void behind. Next she wrapped his ribs, bitting her lip as she concentrated.

“Careful, ‘Nu, I might start to think you like me.”

The corner of her mouth shot up and she laughed softly. “I’m just making sure you don’t die so I can have another go at you.” Crorinu gave a shrill whistle. A minute later a black crow landed beside her.

“Why don’t you let me buy you a drink and we can have another sort of go?”

She twisted a strange smirk at the demon hunter. “Careful, Grim, I might start to think you like me.” She hopped onto the crow and steered it away toward Dalaran.

Grimory looked around him at the mess they’d made. Beneath the hay, he found her sparkling fishing rod and laughed to himself. “Until next time.”

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