The true elf turned in his seat, keeping his brandy in the glass through reflexes refined by long practice. He knew that voice; he knew this face. "Shanna?"
"Wow. How drunk are you?" asked another voice, deeper but still feminine, and Darvinin tilted his head up to regard the darkest-skinned elf he'd ever seen.
"Well," he said seriously. "To the left, I'm entirely too drunk; I'm fairly sure that a newborn goblin could kill me, if the High Provost commanded it. To the right, I'm not nearly drunk enough; I keep remembering all the things I don't want to be thinking about."
The dark-skinned elf glanced down at Shanna. "He's cute when he's like this."
Shanna shook her head. "No, he's not. Darvinin, what happened to you? You were always the steady one."
Darvinin drained his glass and held it out behind him. Someone took it and handed him another. "Well, I mean, there was the rogue elvish army," he said, "and then there was the part where they murdered Tiatha. And, and the part where they left me to be questioned by the Duke of Janbridge's chief torturer, who was quite talented for a human. Then Ruin rescued me and we all escaped, and then... and then he died."
"Yeah, about that..." said the dark-skinned elf, but Shanna gestured and she stopped.
"I felt it," Darvinin said, so quietly that Shanna had to read it from his lips. "I felt him die." He shook his head. "But I can't shake the feeling that he isn't gone. I keep expecting him to speak to me. Or maybe just to step out of nowhere and start killing. How strange is that?"
"Not that strange, cousin," said Shanna. "Come on, you've had enough for tonight. We have rooms nearby; come back with us and sleep it off. There's somebody you need to see."
Darvinin looked from Shanna to her dark-skinned companion and back. "I... yes?" He set the glass down and tried to stand, discovering in the process that the bar stool was oddly taller than it had been when he'd sat down on it. The floor seemed to be swaying, too. "I'm done," he said, with an unexpected sense of finality. "Tell me what to do next."