Dragons of the border

The Joker and the Sneak

Saber meets with his doppleganger

Saber looks around the empty room, there’s really nothing in the way of furniture or lighting, but in the center is a medium sized dragon with dark scales, curled up in a ball. Saber silently approaches it and sits down, “Rowan.” He says simply.

The ball of scales slowly uncurls and Saber finds himself looking at his own face “I knew you would come Saber, though much earlier than I would have”

“Then you know what I have to say already.” Saber says, his eyes focused and a slight growl to his tone “You know what you’ve done to me, and how I feel about it. I don’t know what’s going through your head though. What did you think you’d accomplish?”

“You know as much as I do, Saberous” you see your face turn to look at the window then back to you “I wanted my home back after i took it.” he looks confused “you took it”

“I took nothing. I won it.” Saber growls, pacing in a circle around his double, “You played the game with me and lost.”

“I did not lose” he growls back “You got caught in the end and I won it back” Rowan turns to keep facing Saber.

“And yet here we are.” Saber says, “Did you really win anything? …Do you even know who you are right now?” Saber asks, his tone softens but it’s almost imperceptible.

The words seem to strike a blow on the double, who turns his gaze away “I took the chance” he says quietly

“You did. And you know, I detest those that rely on magical assistance rather than their own skill.” Saber says, “Because of that, I don’t properly know how to counter it.” He removes his ring, and holds it up in the light, “But you’ve always found these silly trinkets to be valuable tools. You’re still the same Rowan… At the same time” Saber continues, slipping Rowan’s old ring back on, “You had everything you needed. I was out of the picture, no one could have possibly noticed that you weren’t me. You could have had Noire all to yourself. But you couldn’t keep it up. Why is that?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” he looks at the ring with some recognition “I had Noire but it came with a cost… and your friends were single minded”

“They can be a bit stubborn. But that’s nothing new to us. Certainly not you. You’re resourceful. You could have done a lot more than you did to stop them.” Saber says, “You want something else that I have, don’t you? That’s why you’re still wearing my skin. If the cost was so great, you could have gotten rid of it easily if you let Shay free you, first.”

“But, I didn’t…” he frowns “I couldn’t….” then in a whisper “I don’t know how much of what i think is me”

“You want an identity.” Saber says, “That was your cost. You no longer have one.” He says coldly, “Do you want me to give you one?”

“Of course I have one” he stammers “I am Rowan. master thief. champion of the clutch” Rowan steps towards saber with teeth bared.

“I AM THE CHAMPION OF THE CLUTCH!” Saber growls, slashing his double across the right eye with his claws. His double balks, as searing pain fills his face. Blood starting to cloud vision in his eye “You’ve trespassed on my accomplishments enough, whelp!”

Rowan lets out a pained cry before covering his face with a paw “Your accomplishments?” he says with a pained an shocked voice “I was there. when we killed Paige!”

“You were not, Rowan. You were here in Noire.” Saber says, softly, his previous anger somehow gone entirely, “You were building an empire, one that you should be proud of.”

“I..” he breaths while his eyes squeeze shut “I was?”

“You lost a game that you didn’t agree to play. As did I. Which is why we’re here right now.” Saber says, opening his bag pulling out a red colored potion, he lifts Rowan’s paw off of his eye and pours it on the wound, causing a sting, “You were. Commit the memory of Noire to your mind because it is your legacy. Use this pain to do that.” The potion drips away, leaving a noticeable scar over his eye. “You are not me, Rowan. You are your own dragon.” Saber says, “It’s about time you acted like it.”

“Is that why you came?” he sneers “To scare my face and protect your identity? I knew you would come to punish me” he rubs at his wound “And you give Noire to me, when? Call it my legacy? what a joke. You give it to yourself.”

Saber laughs, “Noire is not mine to give. You said it yourself. In the end you didn’t lose. I got caught. You won it back. I didn’t come to punish you, Rowan. You know me better than that. I came to make you understand something that your friend Bardas knows.” Saber says, “Who you are is what you do from now on.”

“You tell me this but you don’t even know who you are” Rowan smiles “I know as you do. we are runts. stunted things”

“…What are you talking about” Saber asks, suspiciously, “Are you still searching for the upper hand?”

“We have no parents.” he gingerly takes his paw from his face “none that we know of”

“No. We were both left to fend for ourselves.” Saber says, cautiously.

“You cant lie to me” Rowan says with confidence "you never knew your parents. who they were, where you came from. " Rowan circles Saber now “You always felt different from the others. and you knew something was wrong when Rith kept growing and you stopped as you are now”

Saber is silent a moment, looking forward, rather than watching his opponent, “What of it?” he growls, a little more genuinely than before.

The pacing stops "I don’t need to tell you what you fear. " his voice comes close to your ear “You don’t even know what you are and you come to tell me what I am”

“Why, Maybe I am the real saber and you are my fake”

Saber stands up and turns looking Rowan directly in the eyes, his face unreadable, “Do you want to be, Rowan? Is that what you really want? We’re not that different. Few people could tell the difference. You could even claim the scar was left by your fake before he escaped from you.”

Rowan gives an equally unreadable expression “I want the same thing you do. We both know that”

“I want you to forgive me, Rowan” Saber says.

“I want you to forgive me, Saber” Rowan echos

“I already have” They say together

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