Lionel loved travelling around the world, having adventures. Fighting monsters and finding treasure, helping people, getting paid. Fucking whoever he wanted.
But he’d decided he loved Ophelia of Great Scar more, and she wasn’t going to come with him, so that was that decided. And when Lionel decided something, he didn’t fuck around.
“I’m leaving,” he said, sitting down in front of the fire with his group. It wasn’t like the Flying Band, not a group with a name. Just a group of friends, a group of mercenaries. There were five of them.
“Where to?” asked Darcy, stirring the cookpot.
“Right here,” Lionel said. “I’m staying in Great Scar. Ophelia and I are going to get married.”
That got all four of the others looking at him. “Didn’t you…just meet her?” asked Maury. “Like…a week ago?”
Lionel shrugged. “Yes.” Humans thought people needed to spend lots of time together before deciding to partner with each other. That, like many things humans did, was stupid.
“What, is the sex that good?” asked Steven, as if he was joking.
“Yes,” said Lionel, though it wasn’t just that. “You guys can go on without me. But I’m staying here.” He’d spent a long time fighting and treasure hunting. Living in a village where all he had to do was hunt deer and build houses or something would be fun. Lionel would build Ophelia the best house in the village.
“Well,” said Darcy, giving a shrug. “There’s no point in arguing with him when he’s made up his mind. We’re going to miss you, Lionel.”
“Yeah.” Maury leaned back, looking up at the sky. “Maybe I should retire too. Go back down south.”
“Same,” said Lars, tuning his lute. “But you know, not south.” He’d never quite lost his Enjoni accent, even when he sang. It frequently made it hard to know if he was singing about roosters or people who made food, but it had never impacted the quality of his songs.
“Going to finally go find that girl you always pretend is waiting for you?” Steven teased. “Maybe by the time we all come up to visit you you’ll have actually found one.”
Lars scowled at them. “We’re going to have so many kids I’ll raise a whole army just to come eat all your food.”
“Nobody ever said you all had to retire too,” Lionel told them. “You can go on without me.”
“We know,” said Steven, shrugging. “But what’s the point? Besides, Maury and Lars are right. It’s time to grow up.”
“Speak for yourself,” said Darcy. “I’m going to keep travelling until I wander off a cliff and die.”
“Yeah, as if you’d last a day without us to save your useless ass,” Lionel said.
“I didn’t say that day wouldn’t be tomorrow.”
They all laughed at that, and Lionel leaned forward on his knees. “I’m going to miss you all,” he decided. “You’ll have to come visit me and Ophelia in Great Scar in a few years. Meet our children.”
“The man just met this woman and he’s already naming their babies,” Maury teased.
“Yeah, yeah,” said Lionel. He didn’t understand. He was a human. And he wasn’t in love yet.
“What?” asked Lars. “Like you haven’t secretly named your kids already?”
Lionel had known he would get it. He stood up, clapped his hands. “Well,” he said. “If it’s going to be our last night together, why don’t we have some drink, some music, some food, and…” he smiled. “And we’ll toast to whatever comes after that.”
“And then you’re going to fuck us all senseless?” Darcy asked.
Lionel smirked. “Can’t have you all leaving without something to remember me by, can I?”
He didn’t, and they all gave him something too. Lionel would never forget them.