(Note: The course of events through this set of journals happens in the days prior to, through the events of, and ends the day after the events that took place IC on the night of Monday, 05/14/18)

It was an offer too good to be true. He knew it when he stared into Commander Bordren’s deceptively warm smile. Diran, on the other hand, seemed to believe every word this shining beacon and head of the Vanguard said, much to Roddy’s sense of abhorrent betrayal. 

Two weeks, the Commander promised. Two weeks of his best behaviour, and he was free. Yet here he was two and a half weeks later, still scrubbing and mopping the gilded floors of the Vanguard’s jungle bar, under the seemingly omnipresent and scrutinizing gaze of the giant of a manager. Not once had he set foot outside of these golden walls. Not even on a simple errand. Not even a thread of adventure was granted to him, while the rest off the lot traipsed their way across the endless, sandy expanse of Elona. The forgotten land!

And gods above, Roderik swore he was dying. 

Wasting away here in this gods forsaken jungle, surrounded by all this treasure he didn’t care about, toiling away his youth. This was it! This was his true punishment! The one Thackeray had meant to bestow on him from the beginning! He hated it!

He hadn’t exactly been trying, Diran advised the whining mage several nights before, over the sound of rain dripping through the canopy (so much rain!). It was a claim Roderick refuted rather defensively.

To which Diran merely smiled and shook his head. Maybe it had something to do with the kitchen fire he started last week?

Of course! As if it were Roderik’s fault for experimenting with more magically effective ways to broil a beef shank. (Alright, so maybe the old Seraph had a point. (And, okay so maybe Diran wasn’t that old.))

“Maybe you should try making friends. You’re good at that.” Diran was tired, so tired. Though it wasn’t type of tired sleep would fix, even as he rolled to his side, presenting his back to Roderick in the darkness, indicating sleeping was what he intended to do, anyways. It was reflected in his voice, in the sigh that escaped him before he continued. “Show you want to be here. And I don’t know, maybe stop fighting it for once.”

Roderik mouthed the words back to himself in the most mocking of manners as he swung the broom back and forth, kicking up more dust and dirt than he actually managed to clean.

But that’s just it, Diran. He didn’t want to be here.

And oh, how painfully obvious it was.

Something catches the corner of his eye, and it’s enough of a something to make Roderik pause his hap-hazard task.

Looking up, and promptly back down again, Roderik found himself met with a wide smile, and an exuberant wave, both of which were attached to a very green, golden eyes Sylvari.

It catches him off guard, he concedes. It wasn’t that he wasn’t unfamiliar with this sentient and mobile tree branch everyone seemed to love (or at worst, tolerate). It was just that Roderik was convinced the little imp was otherwise preoccupied. Like, with that really, really tall guy with the hat. They seemed practically attached at the hip. Where ever the Captain wandered, Genjl was sure to only be a few paces behind, taking two steps for every long stride.

But the Captain had been gone for a few days now. Something about Blade business that had Roderick both intrigued, yet also filled with the desire to be as far removed as possible. It was admittedly depressing to watch the poor sprout wander about the Hollow like a lost pup. At least, until someone had need of him, or the hulking shadow of a Norn necromancer brooded by. Oh, and the red headed lady who threatened to slice his throat with a mace within the first five minutes of his arrival. The Sylvari seemed incredibly fond of her, too, and she seemed far more tolerant of him.

Both of his substitutes must have been otherwise busy, as here Genjl was, standing right in the middle of the one spot Roddy had *actually* swept, wanting his attention instead.

“Can… I help you?” the question left the young elementalist a little more befuddled and a lot less uave than he had intended, complete with the awkward clearing of his throat. Twice. Three times. Wow, that was really stuck wasn’t it?

“I was about to ask you that.” The sapling’s voice was a little deeper than he imagined it would be, despite having heard it several times before, and the confusion must have shown on Roderik’s face, as Genjl’s head tilted in the same direction, a bark brow lofted.

Or maybe it was the rather forward turn around the Sylvari presented. Roderik wasn’t exactly sure. Did this guy really just “no, you” him?

“Do you need help?” Genjl rephrased, slowing his speech as his expression shifted into something that was… Concern? Honestly!

“Oh!” the clarity hit Roderik with the force of a charr’s shield. Of course that’s what he meant. But he didn’t have to rub it in,  for crying out loud.

“You’ve been sweeping the same spot for ten minutes now.” There he goes again. What was this dude’s deal?

“What?” the exclamation that left Roderik’s throat was nothing short of indignant. “I have not.”

Genjl’s mouth twisted into something that wasn’t quite a smile as he nodded rather matter-of-factly. This guy!

Roderik scowled, palming the broom handle and twisting. The Sylvari continued to stare at him so expectantly, as if his very being hinged on the next words to leave his newfound human friend.

He was serious, wasn’t he?

Well, this was… awkward.

There was a nagging in the back of his head; a voice that sounded strangely like his exhausted friend and warden. Make friends. You’re good at it. Stop fighting for once.

“Ah… sure, I guess,” Roderik murmured, finally relinquishing the broom to Genjl’s waiting and eager hands. “If you want. You sweep, and I’ll mop.” If this is what he meant by making friends.

=============================

While the original intention, over the course of the hours, clean is not the state the bar was left. It should have been expected, leaving two delinquents to their own devices.

But if messes were what made friendships, then hey. Maybe Diran was right.

Roderik was good at that.

Author Roderik
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