A/N: I took the liberty of rewriting a scene from the original game to show it more through the eyes of my beloved PC. The dialogue is probably inaccurate - a result of me owning a non-English version of the game - so my apologies to all the purists. ;) Rated M for later chapters and strong language in some places.
I do not own NWN2 or any of the characters (although I certainly wouldn't mind owning Bishop for a while...), except for Gina Bendon, my human Fighter/Duelist PC.
"And who's that gloomy guy in the corner?" Gina asked, not looking back. She was sitting by the counter, with her back to the entrance, sipping casually on ale. It was late evening and not many patrons were still inside the Flagon, thus making it easier to spot someone staring. The man she asked about, however, seemed rooted to his chair. When she thought about it, she didn't seem to recall one time he hadn't been there, half his face cloaked in darkness, gleaming eyes fixed upon her. It aroused her interest, and, against her better judgment, she found herself purposely staring back at him at times.
Duncan put down the tankard he'd been cleaning and glanced carefully over her shoulder, knitting his brows. "Him? That's Bishop. Though you're better off not knowing him."
Gina raised an eyebrow. "Interesting name. Your regular customer, I take it?"
"I suppose you could say that," he winced. "He has a weakness for my cheapest beer."
She took another sip. "What does he do?"
"He's… a ranger." Duncan lowered his voice. "Be careful around him, Gina. He's trouble."
"Oh, I like trouble," she smirked.
"Not this kind, believe me. He'd sell ye for a couple of gold pieces if he only had the chance."
"A challenge then." She looked up at her uncle, smiling. "Thanks for the concern, but I can take care of myself."
"I know, I know," Duncan sighed. "You're a smart lass. But don't say I didn't warn ye. Daeghun will have my hide should anything happen to you."
"I'll keep that in mind," she chuckled and stretched in her seat, yawning. "Well, I think I'll try to catch some sleep before tomorrow."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, again. If I had known Brelaina was such a bloodsucker, I would have tried my luck with Moire's gang instead."
"I doubt it would have been much better, lass." She could see the pride in Duncan's eyes as he smiled at her. "Not many people in this city can wield a blade as well as you do."
"Guess that's a family trait, then," she winked, to which the barkeep beamed even more brightly. "Goodnight, Duncan."
"Sleep well, Gina."
She turned around and lightly hopped off the tall bar stool, the wooden floor creaking silently beneath her heels. She wasn't surprised to find the ranger watching her again.
Bishop, she thought absently, and discovered she liked the way the bizarre name resounded in her head. As she strode across the room she could practically feel his eyes upon her, following her until she reached the staircase leading to her bedroom. A pleasant shiver ran down her spine. She swung her hips nonchalantly, making sure he took a good look.
Trouble, hmm? She grinned to herself. Aren't all things that are fun 'trouble'?
"They have taken Shandra."
Gina looked up at Casavir, wondering how in the Hells he managed to put on his plate mail so quickly.
Or does he sleep in it?
Then his words sunk in, complete with the all too evident concern with which he spoke them. She felt her hand clench into a fist and she banged it against a nearby table. "Damnit, not again!"
Neeshka gave the paladin an offended look. "And you said I got into trouble a lot."
Gina closed her eyes. This couldn't be happening. Not after all they had gone through the previous day to get the woman to safety. Safety. Riiiiight…
"How the hell did githyanki get into the city?" Duncan burst. Gina noticed the blood on his forehead, although he was showing no sign of pain.
Maybe he and Daeghun do have something in common after all.
"Does it matter?" an unpleasant voice said. "You better hurry if you want to get her back."
Everyone turned to look at the ranger who now emerged from the shadows, still tightly gripping his bloodied longsword and dagger. Gina had caught a glimpse of him during the fight, but she suddenly realized that it was the first time she had a chance to observe him at such close quarters. He was undeniably handsome, even with the rather nasty half-smile that twisted his lips, and – judging by the way he carried his weapons – a skilled fighter. His bright amber eyes – the same that usually followed her every move from his favorite spot in the corner – focused on her, sliding shamelessly across her form. She felt exposed under his stare, like a doe watched by a hungry wolf.
She had rushed into battle without thinking, pausing only to grab her boots and weapons after Duncan's shouts had woken her… meaning she was only wearing that and the thin linen shirt she slept in, the garment barely reaching past her hips. The ranger's gaze lingered upon her (now covered with scratches and bruises) bare legs for a heartbeat before shifting to the bodies the floor was littered with. Slightly disappointed that the moment was over, Gina followed his example. Quite the massacre we've made.
"Unless we find out where they're striking from, I don't think we're going anywhere." She frowned and prodded one of the bodies with the heel of her boot. The githyanki was as dead as you could get.
I guess I won't be getting any answers from you…
Neeshka eyed the bodies critically. "Am I the only one who thinks killing all of them was a bad idea? Corpses don't talk. Well, I'm not counting the undead here…"
"Well, well… this one's just said something."
Gina turned her head, intrigued. The ranger slowly rose from his knees, carefully examining a small object.
"A piece of wood from Duskwood," he drawled lazily. "This means they came from within Luskan territory… and that's likely where they'll be taking your precious friend."
"Luskan," Duncan nearly jumped, giving the man an accusing look. "That's your area, Bishop."
The look the ranger presented him with in return would probably kill anyone less resistant.
"Yeah, but this is not my problem," the man snarled. "I'm not going to travel into Luskan territory, especially not with any of your relatives, Duncan."
This caused Gina to raise an eyebrow. We're taking this a little personally, aren't we? She narrowed her eyes at the ranger, but chose to remain silent.
"You will help them, Bishop. Whether you like it or not."
She looked at Duncan, puzzled. There was a hardness in his tone she'd never heard before, the look in his eye indicating clearly that he was indeed prepared to force the ranger to do as he asked. The idea of the jovial half-elf fighting the dangerous man seemed preposterous, and yet right then and there she had no trouble picturing it.
"And what makes you think I will?" Bishop's voice was low and hissing, his eyes filled with pure, unadulterated hatred as they met Duncan's. Gina felt a cold shiver run down her spine. Subconsciously, she moved her hand closer to the hilt of her rapier, ready to act at any sign of both men's eagerness to jump at each other's throats.
The sudden shift in Duncan's stance surprised her. The tension seemed to leave his muscles, his features visibly smoothing. He kept looking intently at the other man, but the hostility was gone, replaced by an aura of absolute… certainty? She suddenly became aware that there was some unspoken discussion going on between the two of them.
"So we'd call it quits then, Duncan?" the ranger spoke quietly, taking a few cautious steps towards the barkeep. "Are you sure that's what you want?"
Duncan didn't even blink. "A woman's life is in danger, Bishop. If it means you'll do the right thing for once, so be it."
The change in Bishop was as abrupt as that in Duncan moments earlier. "Alright. I'll do it. Small price for getting rid of you once and for all." He sneered. "You're a fool, Duncan."
Duncan only waved his hand at him with a resigned expression. "So be it," he repeated.
Bishop's gaze rested upon her once more. "The longer we stand here, the further that farm girl of yours gets," he said as he sheathed his weapons. "Grab your gear and meet me outside. You should probably get dressed too." Another fleeting but obvious glance at her thighs… "Unless this is how you distract your enemies." He leered at her, to which she only raised an amused eyebrow.
Not just my enemies, it would seem.
"Five minutes," she said simply.
Apparently satisfied with the answer, he left towards the exit, adjusting the quiver and longbow on his back as he went.
As soon as he was gone, Gina turned to Duncan. "What was that all about?"
She could tell he was trying to avoid looking at her directly. "Just some old business. Watch him. He'll be loyal for now, but only until he pays his debt, or until you run out of gold."
She nodded slowly and gave up any further queries. I swear there's more of Daeghun in him than either of them suspect.
"Whatever it was you just did, thank you. I went hunting with Daeghun in the past, but I'm no tracker."
"Just be careful out there, lass."
"I'll watch her back," Neeshka winked at her and grinned at Duncan. "We'll bring Shandra back in one piece before you even clean up this mess."
The half-elf looked down at the bloodstains on the once-clean floor and groaned. Gina chuckled softly as she hurried back up the stairs.
Five minutes later she was still smiling as she fell into step with the ranger behind Neverwinter's gates. The fun was beginning.