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When Maxson woke up he found out he had Sole’s behind pressed against him, his arm around her and most definitely the feeling of skin on skin. Clearly, she didn’t keep the silk dress on… was she naked? He touched her thigh to find underwear at least.  He quickly got his arm off of her and created some necessary distance between the two of them. He stared at the ceiling, hand on his forehead and clenching his jaw. What kind of effect did this woman start to have on him? He decided to stay in bed for a little while longer, clear his head and calming down. It was morning after all, and he had woken up next to a half-naked woman laying particularly close to him. The memories of the past night also came rushing back. Practicing kissing, what had he been thinking? He glanced over at her. She wasn’t exactly the most elegant sleeper but had a certain kind of humanity, vulnerability like this. Her hair was in her face, her mouth open and  her necklace had left an imprint on her skin.
He got up and put his official attire on. He hated it. He hated wearing some brushed off uniform which proved highly impractical for any kind of warfare. Sole woke up and sleepily mumbled “Doing the walk of shame are you?’ He looked puzzled. Must be the kind of vocabulary they didn’t teach him in the Brotherhood of Steel. Then again, she guessed people would be high-fiving left and right if he slept with someone. She decided not explaining it was the better option here. But after his display of everything but affection after their make-out session she wasn’t letting him off the hook that easily.
“ You pulled me close to you yesterday when I got in bed. I can assure you that they won’t be checking up on us in bed without getting shot in the face by one of us, so that act wasn’t necessary.”  
He ignored the comment. “ I have a meeting to attend, Sentinel.”
“ Do I have to come along?”
“ You’re not directly bound to my orders so it’s your choice. This particular meeting is non-essential to you. No more than status reports.” Sole rolled over again. “In that case, have fun, tell ‘em I said hi and while you’re at it tell ‘em your girl was too exhausted from last night.” She dozed off almost immediately after taking great pride in making Maxson speechless for a second.  
As far as work ethic went, his Sentinel was nothing like a regular Brotherhood of Steel member. She came and went as she pleased, but she defended the Commonwealth. Not entirely in the way he’d like her to, not capable of distinguishing the value of a human being opposed to creatures made my people playing God. She still killed those who posed a direct threat, like Sarah used to. The old him respected her all the more for that, for her empathy. Even though the new him never could understand.

When he was sitting there, after speaking of his own reports and speeching at the start of the meeting, his mind wandered to the evening before. He certainly didn’t have any romantic feelings towards Sole before all of this. Nevertheless her own brand of independence and strength intruiged him against his better knowledge.
He had felt something with that kiss. He tried to regain his focus, soothing himself with the thought that it was probably no more than a physical reaction. He hadn’t kissed anyone for a year so it only makes sense that his body responded to it. Sole is, after all, a beautiful woman. Even more when not in power armour or in  an overall with her hair up and her face covered in grease.
“Elder?” He looked up, carefully guarding that he didn’t show any surprise. He was certain he hadn’t missed anything important.
“ You seem a little… distracted.” He dismissed the comment by telling his opinion on the past mission they discussed. He had read their reports, after all… when Sole had been in the shower. His mind wandered again.
When the meeting was over he returned to their room. Sole was still asleep. He got out of the uniform, knowing he’d still have to wear it for three more hours during the next meeting. He splashed some water on his face and looked at himself in the mirror. “ Compose yourself.” He wanted to check some reports, Sole’s file. That’s when he recognized his name in Sole’s mumbling. He was about to wake her up, convinced she had some sort of nightmare, when he realised she was smiling. He took a step back, kneeled down and looked at her inquisitively. There he was, leader of the Brotherhood of steel, beside his Sentinel’s bed trying to figure out what she could be dreaming about. This was ludicrous. He got up and walked to the other side of the room. His name got louder. He didn’t want to know what was going on and decide it was time to wake her up. “ Sentinel!” She shot awake.
“ Maxson! ” She looked around in the hopes he was at least the only one there… even though he was the last person she wanted to see. She remembered Nate told her than when exhausted she talked in her sleep. She better didn’t do that now.
“ You ought to attend the next meeting.” She nodded before she squinted her eyes at him. “What’s wrong?”
“ Absolutely nothing is ‘wrong’. Your presence is merely expected at the next meeting. I need to introduce you to the other members.” She sat up straight. “I didn’t know you had to do that.”
“ I don’t. But I need them to acknowledge your authority within the Brotherhood. These events are for officials, the old members who are no longer in the field but also for high ranking members. You’re one of them now.”
“ Still, what’s wrong? You’re distracted by something.” Maxson layed down on the bed again and closed his eyes. Sole guessed he just wanted a reason not to have to answer her questions.
“ Maxson.”
“ Sentinel, one more question and you’ll have to share the reason why you called my name when asleep.” Ah, fuck. He won her silence though, as far as awkward conversations went that one’d count.
“ First of all, I suggest you get used to calling me by my name. Second, the scar… how did you get it? You didn’t really …”
“ Single – handedly took out a Deathclaw, age 13. “ Sole raised an eyebrow. “ So the rumours are true then?” He didn’t answer. She looked at him, and outstretched her hand to his face. He grabbed her wrist. “What are you doing, Sentinel?” She purposefully didn’t yank back her hand.
“ If you’re going to respond that way every time I try to touch your face tonight will be a recipe for disaster.” He opened his hand.
She ran her fingertips over the scar and imagined a young Maxson with a gaping wound on his face but just gritting and bearing it. Danse hadn’t been kidding about his fighting skills if he was telling the  truth. She wondered what made him steer clear from truly joining her on the battlefield now.
“ Do you have any other scars?” He lifted his shirt to show a long gash right under his ribcage. “ Stray bullet from a raider. I’ve got another one on my upper leg from when I got shot through it and one more on my back. From slipping over grease and accidentally falling against a sharp metal object as a child. “ He looked over at her. “ What about you?”
She pointed at the side of her eye “ This one is from falling against a glass table as a child. And this one…” That’s all.” He seemed to want to touch it too, but didn’t. She took his hand and placed it on the scar. “Seriously, you’re gonna have to get over touching me too.”  

He got up. “ We need to leave.” Sole checked the time. “In an hour, yeah. Get back to the bed. I gotta know you better by tonight.” Probably not the best wording but it did the trick. He sat back down. Sole was tempted to sit on top of him just to see his reaction but decided her getting thrown out of the room might not be very convincing to sell them as a couple. She tried to come up with some questions.

“Any vices?”
“ I used to use Buffout for a while.” Sole propped herself up to her side, using her hand to support her head. She wanted to be able to see his face. He noticed he was being looked at and turned his head towards her. “A steroid. I decided to stop taking it considering the risk of addiction was too high, according to Jonathan. Cade agreed with him.”
“ Why did you start to use it?”
“ To look more like a leader. I used it when I was a teenager, I didn’t look like I do now.”
“ What about drinking?”
“ That has never been a problem.”
“ You have a lot of alcohol in your office.”
“ I tend to have a two drinks maximum. There are few exceptions to that rule. I have a high tolerance for alcohol… I only drank to forget a few times in my life.”
“When was that?” She saw genuine hurt in his piercing eyes. “ When I couldn’t save her and when I had to condemn an old friend to death because he posed a threat to my people.” Danse. She needed to hear this. “On those two moments I was painfully aware of the sacrifices I had to make.”
She wanted to kiss him again. God, she really wanted to kiss him again. He cleared his throat. “What about you Sen.. Sole?“
“ I barely drink. Don’t feel the need to. I like to be fully aware of what I do at all times. Low tolerance.”

“ How do you think I see you?”
“ As a stuck-up Elder, who just barks orders.”  Sole smiled.
“ Not anymore.” He smiled back at her.
“ I know you hated me for what I ordered you to do at that abandoned watchtower. I need you to know that I did it to protect my own. Everyone under my command is a human being who I aim to protect. I was highly hesitant to allow Ingram to go back into the field after she lost her legs. I feared she’d be incapable of defending herself and that letting her would be a death sentence. Calling that order on Danse was the hardest thing I had to do in my career. But made the decision, to protect my brothers and sisters… and I have learned never to question my own orders for there would be plenty others who do that. He wasn’t the real Danse, he replaced a good man. A mentor… and I am not capable of telling when exactly that occurred. And if the Institute flipped his switch…”
“ Doesn’t work that way. Not with him.”
“ As long as you can keep him under control, I trust your judgement.”
“ You changed your orders because of me. Why?”
“ I can kill a synth who attempted to take the place of one of my brothers… killing you would’ve been harder.”
“ Would you have done it?”
“ To protect those under my command? Would you have killed me for Danse?”
She got quiet. Incapable of answering that question. She didn’t know… but she presumed she would have.  “ Do you care about me? I’m new. I was added by Danse, never truly have been a Scribe.”
“ Your valour is exemplary. Your loyalty inspiring and your vision shows a keen mind. You’re an asset to the Brotherhood.”
“ But do you care?”  
Too much as this point. He checked the time and got ready to leave. He was caught off guard by Sole getting out of the bed in lingerie. “Oh, get over it Maxson.” She slipped on cargo pants and a tight black shirt.  To hell with official attire. “ Fine, you don’t have to answer that. But I do. I care. Deep down, you’re a good man. Some warped morals about who is a true threat but your intentions are good. You showed me that today.
It felt Sole like time had stood still in the hotel. Most of the interior was intact, repainted and redecorated. It made her forget about the bombs, about the ruins out there. She got ripped out of her amazement by a loud “ELDER!”. As she turned around jumpily, almost grabbing the gun strapped to her thigh, she felt his hand squeeze hers. She had no clue if this was where the act started or if he genuinely tried to calm her down a little with the gesture. A pompous man shook Maxson’s other hand and Sole smiled at him. “It is great to see you again, Elder. Ah, and this must be Sole. What a lovely young lady, you’re sure a lucky man son. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“ It’s great to meet you too, sir…”
“Ah, where are my manners. You can call me Jonathan. You two look great together.”
“ You think so? I think I’m out of his league.” Sole winked, resulting in another squeeze in the hand. So this was a warning. Had to be.
“ Would you mind us getting to our room? We’ve had a relatively tiring flight.” Maxson said, the man nodded. ‘Of course! We’ll see you tomorrow. My wife will be thrilled to meet you.”
He walked away after once more shaking Maxson’s hand, this time with both hands. “And that was?”
“ Jonathan Masters, he was my father’s personal medic before he died.”
Sole nodded. Maxson never really mentioned his parents. She knew what had happened but never really asked about it before. Well, now or never.
“ Who… looked after you? After your parents passed away?”
“ He checked up on me. Sarah Lyons was my mentor. “ Before Sole could ask more they were interrupted by yet another man wearing his credentials on his uniform.
He got the key to their room and gestured to Sole where the staircase was. “Elder!” He shut his eyes in annoyance for a second before he turned around and clearly faked a smile. He shook his hand. “Morel.” This ‘Morel’ seemed to only have eyes for her though. Looking her up and down and seemingly showing disapproval in the process.  “So this is your new Sentinel? Who you raised in rank so fast?” Sole ignored his outstretched hand. “It is. He raised it after I took down the Institute. Tell me, what are your accomplishments in battle?”
Maxson smiled at the man. “She is indeed. We will have plenty of time to get you both acquainted tomorrow. Now you’ll have to excuse us, we ought to get to our room.” Sole threw him a venomous smile before she got ready to be reprimanded by Maxson as soon as they got to their room.
“Is this the point where you remind me I’m supposed to behave?”
“ No. He’s merely an advisor. I’m an Elder. You’re my Sentinel. Someone ought to put him in his place. You had every right to be the one to do that.” Sole nodded. “Also he is a pain in the ass anyway.” Sole’s jaw dropped as he looked at him wide-eyed. On the list of things she didn’t ever expect to hear out of his mouth…
When he raised their room he put down their bags as he looked at the king-sized bed. Huh, so those still existed. “This must be a mistake.” He grumbled. Sole looked over at the bed. “Well, we are ‘dating’ remember?” “I told them that we for now still sleep in separate beds.”
“They want an heir remember?” He was about to walk out when Sole slammed the door shut in his face before he could walk out. “You really want to raise suspicion like that? With all do respect, get over it. I don’t care.“

“ About the hand-holding… “
“ My apologies, I am prepared to compromise if it makes you feel more comfortable.”
Sole sighed. “Actually, if you really want to ‘sell’ this, you’re gonna have to do more than that.”
“ Have you got any suggestions, Sentinel?”
“ I dunno, maybe we should kiss or something. Or you should at least hold me by the waist or something.” In for a penny…
“ Are you certain that that would be appropriate?”
“ Probably not considering we’re not actually dating but considering the fact that they want you to, ehm, ‘procreate’.”
“ Hm.” Okay, auch.
“ That revolted? You are past the ‘girls are icky’ stage, right?”
He shot her one of those ‘that’s enough’ looks.

“ Sorry. I mean, have you ever had a girlfriend?”
He raised an eyebrow and kept unpacking. “Okay, out of line. Have you ever kissed anyone before?”
“ However I’m not sure that this is a subject we necessarily have to cover, yes I have. “
“ It is though. I need to know how convincing you can be, I need to ‘know’ you. We are supposed to be dating after all. Who was it?” She was going to sleep in one bed with the guy, she might as well try.
“ A girl who wanted me for my rank. Her parents set her up to do it. “
“ How did you find out?”
“ I caught her kissing one of my friends.” He had friends? “I tried to mend it but she confessed what was truly going on afterwards. How her parents pressured her into ‘mixing their bloodline with mine’. I live for the Brotherhood but forcing her to sway me into marriage…”
“ I’m sorry. What… did you do?”
“ Nothing. She married him. Quite frankly, I suppose she will be joining us for the ball tomorrow evening.”
Sole looked at the floor as she asked him the question burning on her lips. “Are you… over her?”
“ Yes.”
“ Has there been anyone else before her?”
“ There has been. But the officials don’t know that. I was seventeen, she was too low in rank. She died. Killed by mutants.” He clenched his jaw. “I avenged her. “
“ Considering I’m getting every challenging question on your mind... I have been informed of your past. I know the pain the institute inflicted on you. “
“ Is that so?”
“ Are you over your husband? “
She rubbed over her wedding ring. “I won’t ever be. But I’m convinced he’d want me to be happy. So if someone else comes along,…” He cleared his throat.
“I’ve heard rumours that their leader was your son. Can you confirm that?” That felt like a slap in the face. She stood up and walked up very close to him.  “ Out of line, Elder.”
“ I understand. You need to know you’ve done the Brotherhood and the commonwealth a great favour. You have shown you are capable of making the tough calls. I respect that.” Sole inhaled deeply.

“ He was. But that’s enough, Maxson.” He nodded but didn’t break eye contact. She was tiny compared to him, but equally as terrifying when she said she’d had enough.
“ Tell me about Sarah.” That did make him look away. “What do you want to know?”
Sole shrugged. “What was she like, what happened to her?”
“ She showed me the ropes. She taught me what it meant to be a leader, to be a warrior. She, too was a Sentinel. She lead her own elite unit.. Lyon’s Pride.” A rare smiled appeared on his face, thinking of the name.  “She was a lot like you. Protected some outcasts too. Some of the officials here disapproved of her influence over me. Ironically, she died in combat. I wasn’t truly allowed to mourn her. I’m the leader, I had to keep composure not to affect the morale. They told me I had to stick to the Brotherhood way, keep our vision in mind.”
“ Must’ve been hard.”
“ It strengthened me in the end.”
“ Do you miss her?”

The conversation got broken off by someone knocking on the door. Maxson put a gun on the cupboard next to the door, just In case, before opening it. “Room service. Courtesy of sir Coasts.” A cart with some food and drinks was rolled in. As soon as the man left again, Sole grabbed a bottle of liquor. “Sit Coasts is Jonathan.” Sole nodded.
“I think we both can use some of this.” She hadn’t expect the conversation with Maxson to take this kind of turn. After they both downed a drink, Maxson sighed and took off his shirt.
“Woah, this is all going a little fast.”
He turned around and raised his eyebrow. “I would like to get a shower.”
“ is this some sort of invitation because I’m not sure if that’s appropriate either.”
“ Of course not. I’m merely specifying why I took off my shirt as you seemed to struggle with the concept.” Sole nodded. She just had to ask, huh. As he went into the bathroom she figured she ought to have a shower too. Not every day that they got the chance to do so in a fancy place like this, not anymore anyway. She got some stuff out of her bags and put her dress and jewelry ready. She let her fingers slide over the lace of the dress, remembering the first time she wore it. Who’d have thought this is where she’d be wearing her wedding dress again?


She did a double-take as he left the bathroom, obviously still shirtless. He actually trimmed his beard too, making it quite a bit shorter. “I like it.”
Maxson frowned at her. “My body?”
“ No, well, yes, I mean… “ Sole shut her eyes and opened them again, not looking at him. “ I meant your beard like that. It’s better.” She couldn’t see the grin on his face, too busy hurrying to get her clothes and get out of the awkward situation.  
“ I’m gonna have a shower too.” She hurried off into the room only to walk out of it again. “Woah, what did you do to get it that hot in there?”
“Stand there.” Sole couldn’t tell if he was completely oblivious to the pun or actually called himself hot there.
“ Do you use boiling water to shower or something? “ She rolled her eyes and walked back into the bathroom. She opened a window as she got in only to overhear a conversation outside. “Have you seen her yet?” “No, but she’s no match for him. Alice was. This savage woman won’t do. I’ve heard she even questions some of our codes. We must work to break this bond.” “I shall do no such thing!”
Sole walked out of the bathroom again. Maxson was on the bed with a report in hand. “Maxson, how good are you at recognising voices?”
“ What are you talking about?” She walked over to the bed and sat by him.
“ Some men outside are talking about our relationship, one is Jonathan, the other one appears convinced that I’m ‘not good enough for you’?”
Without a word he put his shirt back on and walked outside, to the place the window was next to.
She hurried behind him.
---

PART III


They indeed found Jonathan, looking delighted to see Sole again, and one other man.
“ Good evening, Jonathan. Paladin commander Jones, as I may point out to you I have the rank of Elder and I won’t have anyone question my decisions. This includes my choice of partner. Sole is a Sentinel, a rank not given lightly. I would not have entrusted her with such responsibility were I not convinced she is more than capable of defending the Brotherhood’s best interests. She is one of the most formidable fighters I’ve ever known. And she is likely to be the mother of my future son or daughter. If ever I hear you openly critique her again, I will have you trialed for treason. Is that understood?” The man clenched his jaw, and gave a short nod. “Then I bid you both a pleasant evening. I’ll see you at the meeting tomorrow.” However it was never entirely possible to forget his rank, this reminded Sole of Maxson’s actual power. As he walked back to her he pulled her closer to him and kissed her on the head, knowing the men were still looking on.
“Thank you.” She said as soon as they got back in their room. “But you didn’t have to do that.” He took place on the bed again and grabbed the report.
“ They questioned my authority in questioning yours. There is truly no need to thank me, I simply cannot have anyone undermine my authority.” She nodded, reminded how easily Maxson threatened people. He looked at her as she went back into the bathroom. She closed the door and the window. As she stood in the shower she tried to think of whether or not he was truly just doing this for himself. Diplomatically, what he did wasn’t a smart move, after all. And to which extent she was seeing the real him… was it this man? Or the man talking to her before?
In the meanwhile Maxson put down the report and layed down, hands behind his head.  To his confusion, Sole seemed to keep more of a distance after he defended her. She wasn’t one to be this taken aback from someone critiquing her. He even knew it to strengthen her resolve in anything she did. He was wondering what would happen tomorrow, whether bringing her had been a good idea. Then again, this was an excellent opportunity to find out who truly stood by him and who would attempt to undermine him when given the chance. But to ensure that he wouldn’t have to ask Cade for an infertility report he would have no other choice but to convince them that they were together.
When Sole left the bathroom, depping her long wet hair with a towel he looked at her. “ What are you wearing?” She had a silky nightgown on. A pre-war dress she never really liked but which had somehow also survived the apocalypse. Codsworth had carefully guarded the clothes which had survived.
“ First of all; I wear whatever I goddamn please. Second; I usually sleep in my underwear when I have an actual bed at my disposal. I’m only wearing this thing because of you.” Maxson wanted to bring up that he didn’t care much about that, but opted against it to avoid her misinterpreting it as him making a pass at her.
She layed down on her side of the bed. “Is it common to marry within certain families?”
“ Common, yes. Required, no. “
“ So me being your girlfriend is a bad decision in their eyes.”
“ Certain traditionalists might be opposed to you. Nobody whose opinion I care about. The majority of those present will be pleased I brought along a woman for once. ” In the loaded silence which followed she looked at him. He was thinking about something. She knew.
“ What is it Maxson?”
He looked at her. “ Considering you have brought this up before, do you advise us ‘practicing’ acting like a couple?” Sole shrugged.
“ Perhaps we need to practice how we show physical affection.” She looked over at him, surprised by that answer. “Okay, get up then.” Ordering Maxson around and him actually listening was barely common. She walked over to put on her heels, making sure he wouldn’t have to bend over to do this.
“ Alright, how would you kiss me?” He tilted his head a little and narrowed his eyes as if inquiring to what exactly she expected of him.  Sole rolled her eyes. “ Kiss me.”
He walked over to her, put his arm behind her waist and pulled her really close. She had her body pressed against his. Her eyes were locked on his and she felt her heartbeat race. His face was centimetres away from hers.

He got closer only to let go of her and take a step back, Sole took a moment to regain her composure. Breathe, don’t stand there, say something. “Well that was disappointing” Don’t say that. “ I mean, nobody’ll be convinced by that.” Better. “You usually have better follow-through than that.” There’s another innuendo. She blamed Deacon for being so fluent in those.
“ This simply feels overly forced. Possibly because I’m aware of the fact that we have no romantic feelings towards each other. I refuse to ‘instruct’ anyone to show me physical affection.”
“ You’re not. This was my idea.”  Sole was annoyed at the big boss seemingly being capable of threatening people left and right but kissing her seemed like a tough task.
“ Only out of loyalty. There are certain things I won’t ask of you, Sentinel.”
“ Oh for fuck’s sake. You want to get them off of your back? Then you’ll have to put in some goddamn effort. If you can’t do it now, you definitely can’t do it in a room full of people.”
He rolled his eyes. “I can’t recall last time I valued someone else’s opinion over my own. My decision is final.”
Sole knew they had to do this at least once for him to get over it already. She ran up to him and kissed him full on the lips. He didn’t respond, grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back.
This time she was focussed, immediately looked at him with a challenging look in her eyes and said
“ Point proven. That was my choice.”
He grabbed her by the waist again, more forcibly this time, and kissed her. It felt like he wanted to prove he was still the dominant one, the leader. When Sole deepened the kiss by grabbing his hair and pulling him closer he one-upped her by slipped in some tongue. This wasn’t just kissing, this was full-on making out. Sole had no clue how long they had been going before he broke it off. Damn.
“ Will that be convincing enough?” Ah, what every girls wants to hear after such a kiss.
“ Borderline scandalous for your ‘officials’. But at least we got over that presumption of yours.”
“ Sentinel, I inquired whether you think this would be convincing?”
“ Certainly, ‘Elder”. ”
“ I’m going to bed. Good night.”
He took off the shirt again, given how heated Sole had gotten mere minutes ago a highly frustrating thing to do. It didn’t help that he also took off his jeans. He was sleeping in his underwear? Well fuck that then.  She slipped out of the dress, leaving her underwear, and got under the sheets.  As she did she accidentally bumped into his half-naked body. Turns out he was already counting sheep, or ventibirds, whatever goes. He didn’t seem to notice her change of attire, yet when she bumped against him, he put his arm on her middle and pulled her a closer. Sole had no clue what to do. She tried to get away but couldn’t, his arm a bit too heavy to lift from this particular position. Instead she just went with it and closed her eyes. At least he was warm. She fought the thought that she could get used to this.
Maxson stormed through the prydwen.  Without as much of a side-glance he yelled “ Sentinel, a word!” Sole rolled her eyes as she mimicked him in front of Haylen ‘Sentinel, a word! Sentinel, a sentence! Can’t do anything without me. ’
“I heard that!” Haylen held back her laughter as Sole shrugged it off. What was he gonna do? Get rid of his Sentinel, destroyer of the Institute? Yeah, cause that was likely.
“ I better get in. See you later.” Haylen nodded. “Good luck, he sounds pissed off.”
“ Haylen. He always does.” Sole put down the wrench she was using to work on her powerarmour. “He’s a big softie inside though.” She winked at haylen. She was still rubbing grease off of her hands as she walked into his quarters. “Elder?”
“Sit down, Sentinel. I have a mission for you.” Sole noticed the glass of vodka on his table. For some reason she just knew that that was no water in there.
“What is it, how many men am I taking and do we need to do recon of the area?” It was pretty common that Sole had to lead an attack or join him to one. He didn’t tend to be in the line of fire often though, that was her job. She lead her Knights from the front line, while he was the tactician. A king sending out his delegates.

“ Worse.” He grumbled. Sole was trying to come up with what the hell he was talking about.
“Are you gonna tell me someone else here is a synth and I gotta put ‘em down. Cause, ehm, remember how well that went?” He looked up at her angrily. It was the one time where she really, reaaally questioned his authority when it counted. And it wasn’t to be brought up at a place where anyone could potentially overhear.  
“ You know how I became Elder, didn’t you?”
“ Yeah, yeah. Child prodigy, Danse told me all about how even at your age you’re a great leader.”
“ However that’s certainly true, it’s a birthright. I was the heir to a throne, now I have the reigns in hand.”
Something started to dawn on Sole. “ Heir to the… wait… did you knock someone up?” He looked up at her with a deadpan expression. “ I won’t even grant such an ignorant question an answer.”
“ Then what’s ‘worse’. Are you just dulling this out for dramatic effect?”
“ What I am about to tell you is confidential. You shan’t share this information with anyone. And that includes Haylen.”
“ Elder, the suspense is killing me.”
“ Do you understand what I just said?”
“YES!”

“ As a Sentinel, you’re my right hand woman. I have to attend an official Brotherhood of Steel meeting in the Citadel. There will be plenty of the finest food, music, and a bunch of diplomatic smiling.” Sole smiled at that last comment, so there was a rebel left under the fancy coat.
“ And I take over the Prydwen as long as you’re gone, no probs. Can I have the office too then?”
“ I would appreciate it if you would wait for my orders. These constant interruptions are a nuisance.” Sole pressed her lips together. “Sorry.”

“You’re joining me there.”
“ Oh.”

“ As my date.”
“ As your…”
“ Yes.”
Sole bursted out laughing. “And I thought you lacked a sense of humor.” His expression didn’t change. The laughing died down and made room for a look of pure shock.  “Oh my God. You’re actually serious, aren’t you.”
“ I am indeed. Quite frankly, we need to make them believe you’re more than just my date.”
“ You do realise that there are better ways to ask a girl out right? Who says I want to even be your date? Let along play girlfriend? “
“ I am asking you this as a diplomacy mission. I’m certain your background as a ‘lawyer’ would ensure you know perfectly well how to handle this kind of situation.”
“ Maxson, I don’t know if you’re aware of it but a lawyer isn’t the same thing as an escort.”
“ That’s Elder for you, Sentinel.”
“ If I’m gonna be your girlfriend, that’s Maxson for me. Or Arthur. Actually, it’d have to be Arthur.”

“ Does that mean I can confirm you will be joining me as my plus one?”
“ As you said, I’m your Sentinel. And you allowed me to spare Danse, I kinda owe you for that one. Although, I would’ve killed you if you would’ve tried to murder him.” Also there was that thing that Sole would be lying if she said she hadn’t thought about it. Them. “One thing though; why me? If you want a girlfriend, there are some scribes out there who’d jump the opportunity.” Maxson cringed.
“ These older officials consider it a necessity to remind me of my duties, as well as the importance of keeping the bloodline going.” He downed the last bit of vodka. “They want me to have an heir. A girlfriend might discourage them from constantly trying to set me up with their daughters and cousins.”
“ Just so we’re clear; I’m not ‘having your heir’ juuust yet.”
“ I’m not expecting you to.” Sole noticed how he didn’t cringe this time though.
“ At the risk of sounding overly girly, do I wear a dress?”
“ Formal wear is indeed required. I could get you a dress.” Sole sighed. That had been a while.
“ No, I have one. When do we leave?”
“ In three hours.” Sole sighed.
“ Fine, I’ll meet you here.”

Sole walked out of his quarters and into her own, dashing past Haylen in the process. She hurried after her. “Hey, what did he want?”
“ A date.”
“ What?” Right, confidential.
“ A bodyguard actually. But I need to dress up so he probably just wants to be seen with a pretty girl by his side.” Haylen would consider it far more strange if she wouldn’t just joke around with it. Sole knew that much. She walked to a metal box by her bed in her quarters. Haylen’s eyes widened.
“ Are you gonna wear…”
“ Yep. “

Sole was late. Twenty-three minutes to be exact. Maxson was getting impatient, paced up and down. The idea of Sole standing him up was starting to push itself to the surface. He needed a moment to gather his thoughts and wrap his head around the fact that they had somewhere to be when Sole arrived. She was wearing something more casual, but also had her hair down and make-up on. Fiery red lips and dangly earrings. Maxson actually managed to find some jeans and a black shirt. Half the Brotherhood watched on as he guided her into the Ventibird, proving his plan to work a little prematurely. To all intents and purposes, this looked a lot like a date.

“ We have some things to discuss, Eld… Arthur.”
“ Such as?”
“ How long have we been ‘together’, what do we call each other, do I have to fake-kiss you or something?”
Maxson could barely hold down a grin… Sole noticed.
“ I propose…”
“ Yeah, see I’m not wearing an engagement ring so…”
He glared at her again, a typical way to ask her to basically shut up.
“ I propose we say we have been together since a couple of months after you were appointed your new rank. Otherwise they might presume I only raised your rank because of our relationship status. You can choose what we call each other. You don’t need to kiss me. “
Sole nodded. She appreciated that he thought of their perception of her as far as her rank went.
“ You call me by my first name. I call you Maxson, cause I’m used to that. Maybe honey.”
“As long as you don’t call me ‘baby’.”
“ Why is that?”
“ Because I’m still an Elder, Sentinel.”
The rest of the flight included Maxson explaining the different officials who would be present. Sole listened attentively and smiled at the disgust in his voice when he spoke about some of them. At times like this, Sole remembered that he was still five years younger than them, and not as groomed to hide the hint of distain in his voice.
Hello everyone,

Over the years I have noticed some amazing artists and what they could do with the stock pictures. I will be dating my fiancé for 5 years on the 27th of December. Because of this I decided to do a contest in the hopes that I could show him the amazing things the DeviantArt community can do. The first 10 people who enter this contest automatically receive a drawing (in pencil) of their name (I draw your name - draw, yes, not write - in my own style and picture it) , for the winner I either draw a character of their choice -can be an OC- in my own style OR create a name drawing with two colours of their choice. I will fave every single one of the entries (obviously) and comment on it. 

I wanna do something special this anniversary, so feel free!

'deadline': 26th of december
art forms:  photomanipulation (with the stock pictures), drawings (of both of us then), writing (story based on the stock pictures with the couple in the gallery - no poetry)
requirement: Link to 'I get used to this' - basically refers to the day we got together, we were bantering and he claimed he wasn't scared to sit close to me and challenged me to come sit on his lap in a mocking way, I took him up on the challenge and eventually we ended up cuddling in the couch and I said 'I could get used to this'. Little did I know I never would because he amazes me every single day. You can interpret this in your own way. Other random things about us: we're both gamers (borderlands 2, Skyrim, etc.), we both like to watch action packed movies, we both like gothic novels and the rain? About as random as it gets? :p

If you ever planned on doing something with that stock, this is your chance to get something out of it too! :)

-If anyone feels like donating sth to this contest, feel free! - 

Good luck and more importantly thanks for entering!

- Indra
  • Listening to: The gentle humming of my laptop
  • Reading: What I just wrote
  • Watching: The laptop screen
It's my birthday! I haven't been posting stock for a while but still truly adore seeing your creations using my stock and am considering making more. Open to suggestions! :)
Hello everyone,

Over the years I have noticed some amazing artists and what they could do with the stock pictures. I will be dating my fiancé for 5 years on the 27th of December. Because of this I decided to do a contest in the hopes that I could show him the amazing things the DeviantArt community can do. The first 10 people who enter this contest automatically receive a drawing (in pencil) of their name (I draw your name - draw, yes, not write - in my own style and picture it) , for the winner I either draw a character of their choice -can be an OC- in my own style OR create a name drawing with two colours of their choice. I will fave every single one of the entries (obviously) and comment on it. 

I wanna do something special this anniversary, so feel free!

'deadline': 26th of december
art forms:  photomanipulation (with the stock pictures), drawings (of both of us then), writing (story based on the stock pictures with the couple in the gallery - no poetry)
requirement: Link to 'I get used to this' - basically refers to the day we got together, we were bantering and he claimed he wasn't scared to sit close to me and challenged me to come sit on his lap in a mocking way, I took him up on the challenge and eventually we ended up cuddling in the couch and I said 'I could get used to this'. Little did I know I never would because he amazes me every single day. You can interpret this in your own way. Other random things about us: we're both gamers (borderlands 2, Skyrim, etc.), we both like to watch action packed movies, we both like gothic novels and the rain? About as random as it gets? :p

If you ever planned on doing something with that stock, this is your chance to get something out of it too! :)

-If anyone feels like donating sth to this contest, feel free! - 

Good luck and more importantly thanks for entering!

- Indra
  • Listening to: The gentle humming of my laptop
  • Reading: What I just wrote
  • Watching: The laptop screen

deviantID

Arcane-Catharsis

Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Current Residence: Somewhere in Europe
deviantWEAR sizing preference: XS or S
Favourite genre of music: Pretty much all but jump/tektonic and some kinds of dubstep, oh and schlagers...
MP3 player of choice: I choose my Ipod
Shell of choice: seashell?
Skin of choice: My own xD
Interests

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:iconethelwulf85:
ethelwulf85 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Great Couples stock, love to see more!
Reply
:iconczareenyj:
CzareenYJ Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013
You got hugged :D (Big Grin) :iconspazhugplz::D (Big Grin)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Spread the DA love around! (you can copy and paste this message on their userpage!)

RULES:
1- You can hug the person who hugged you!
2- You -MUST- hug 6 other people, at least!
3- You should hug them in public! Paste it on their page!
4- Random hugs are perfectly okay! (and sweet)
5- You should most definitely get started hugging right away!

Send This To All Your Friends, And Me If I Am 1.
If You Get 7 Back You Are Loved!

1-3 you're bad friend
4-6 you're an ok friend
7-9 you're a good friend
10-& Up you're a great friend


<da:thumb id="296478554">
Reply
:iconlykeomgeeduh:
lykeomgeeduh Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you for the :+fav:!! :meow:
Reply
:iconnemessos:
nemessos Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
thank you for the favs! :)
Reply
:iconallyedfrown:
AllyEdFrown Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
Here, have my watch! :D congrats on the DD! I think it was not only for that picture, but for the whole gallery and what you do for the artists in distress out there who desperately need good reference pictures! Keep up with good work!
Reply
:iconprincess-suki-w:
Princess-Suki-W Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
:iconcheerplz::iconcheerplz::iconcheerplz:
Thank you for the fav' Indra!
:iconhave-anicedayplz:
Reply
:iconsouravlovesnature:
SouravLovesNature Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Professional Filmographer
thanku so much for fav
Reply
:iconwalking-tall:
Walking-Tall Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much for the deviantWATCH, Indra! :D
Reply
:iconamro0:
Amro0 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks 4 the watch :)
Reply
:iconamro0:
Amro0 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much 4 the fave :)
Reply
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