The recognizable characters appearing in this story are copyright by Wizards of the Cost, Inc. This story is written for entertainment purposes only; no challenge to the copyright holders is intended, neither should any be inferred.

A/N: Short one-shot written in 2010 but not posted until now.


Attention, Please

"Shall I kill it for you?"

Violet's head shot up. "What?!"

"The squirrel–" Drizzt waved a scimitar casually, indicating the cute little critter Violet had been watching "–so that you'll no longer be distracted."

The creature in question peered down at the pair unconcernedly, and went on nibbling an acorn.

"Father, no!" Violet was indignant. The nine-year-old studied her father's face, trying to decide whether he was serious or not. She highly doubted it, but at the same time he was looking rather exasperated.

"You need to pay attention, Vi. Don't make me ask you again." His tone held a warning.

Violet ground her teeth together in frustration. She was so bored! They'd been having scimitar practice for hours already, she was sure, and she just wanted to go and play. Kel'nar was going on and on about block and counterattack combinations. It was hard to concentrate – she liked archery and throwing daggers best, but Kel'nar insisted that they study all the weapons. He'd asked her to pay attention several times already this afternoon. Hopefully they would be done soon. Violet was sure she could tempt that little squirrel with some seeds and maybe even get it to eat out of her hand! She found herself wondering if its tail felt as soft as it looked.

"...so, given that attack sequence, what would be the proper parry and counterattack?" Drizzt looked at his daughter expectantly.

"Umm..." Violet's mind raced. What attack sequence had he been talking about? She had no idea. "Double-cross down and kick," she stated, hoping she'd luck out and give the correct answer.

Drizzt rolled his eyes heavenward and sighed. "Only if you want to lose a limb," he commented dryly. Enough was enough. "Pick up your scimitars," he ordered.

Confused, Violet picked the weapons up from the bench where she'd set them.

"Now hold them straight out in front of you, keeping your arms straight."

Violet complied. "Okay..."

"Count to one hundred."

"Count?" It was a strange request.

"Yes. To one hundred."

"One, two, three, four..." What was this supposed to– oh. The scimitars felt like they were getting heavier and heavier. "...twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three..." So this wasn't a training exercise, it was what she got for not paying attention.

"...forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-three..." her arms were beginning to tremble slightly, but she was not going to drop those scimitars. Violet willed her elbows to stay locked.

"...sixty-nine, seventy, seventy-one..." Her arm muscles felt like they were screaming in protest, but Violet was nothing if not stubborn.

Drizzt's face was impassive but he watched those wavering blades knowingly. He'd been in the same position in a Menzoberranzan training gym. Usually the weapons master had just given him a smack with the flat of a blade when he wasn't paying attention, but that time he supposed Zaknafein had been feeling creative.

Violet was counting faster and faster, she couldn't help it – her arm muscles felt like they were burning. She wasn't going to make it, she couldn't stand it...she couldn't do it, she was going to drop the scimitars, she couldn't...she made it!

To her credit, Violet set the blades down lightly instead of dropping them like she wanted to. Drizzt nodded once in acknowledgement. "Are you ready to pay attention now?"

"Yes." Her tone was mildly acidic.

"Good." The ranger summed up a few more important points, then sent his daughter off to play. He watched her go, long white hair bouncing behind her as she scampered off, and he wondered if he was pushing her too hard, too soon.


Kel'nar = dad.