Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Characters/Pairings: m!Lavellen and Cassandra, technically no pairing... yet
Disclaimer: Dragon Age universe and all characters in it belong to BioWare. I just can't stop playing with their toys.
No real spoilers, I kept it non-specific since the game's not out yet, so I don't really know the plot or anything
Outside was cool.
That was the only thing he could honestly claim to care about as the heavy wooden door swung shut behind him. The floor under his feet, the air around him, cool as a fresh-melted stream in early spring. It was a welcome relief after the stuffy heat of the war room. Each step across the stone floor felt like a blessing from the gods themselves, a freedom of sorts. It only took a few paces for Tighe to reach the half-height wall that separated the portico from the gardens spread below and perch atop it. He rested his hand against one of the grooved pillars that supported the overhanging roof, closed his eyes and spread his fingers over the grey-white whorls of the marble, enjoying the difference from indoors. Ice spidered out from his fingertips, curling and spreading in intricate patterns vaguely reminiscent of his vallaslin.
The tension bled from his posture as the ice scattered over more of the surface of the pillar. It was good to have a minute--even if he was horribly aware it was just
a minute--to himself. A minute where the weight of the world wasn't dragging on his shoulders. A minute just to be
. To hear the creatures of the night, to feel the magic thrum through his veins. To be at peace.
Tighe jumped a little at the matter-of-fact compliment, white filming through the sheen of ice as he spun to face the unexpected company. "Mythal! Don't you shems learn not t' sneak up on people?"
A grim smile tugged at Cassandra's lips. "Not always. For example, some parents think it more important we learn the proper way to reply to compliments."
He laughed a the hinted, teasing remonstrance. "Point taken, dear Seeker." He sheepishly tugged at his earlobe and smiled, his heart not slowing a beat as she walked closer. "Thank you."
Her gaze drifted from the mischievous elf to the ice still decorating the pillar. "It is very easy to forget the beauty of magic when surrounded by horrors wrought by it."
"Not when it sings in your blood," Tighe contradicted.
Cassandra nodded curtly. "Now it is my turn to concede point taken. I suppose living with it allows you to see both the beauty and ugliness in equal measure. But it is still dangerous. And men have lived in fear of it for too long to simply accept it overnight."
Blue eyes narrowed as he straightened, feeling that terribly familiar weight creeping back in. "So I take it th' meeting being done this quickly is not a good thing?"
The Seeker nodded again, reluctantly this time. "You would be correct. The vast majority of those we summoned... balked at the mere suggestion of sheltering even innocent mages on their lands."
"Damn," Tighe muttered. "Why do I get th' feeling 'balked' is just you being polite?"
"Because it is," she said simply. "The very few who did not instantly reject the proposal still looked concerned at the fact we considered it a viable option."
"So y' managed to present it without bias." One dark eyebrow rose toward his tousled mop of hair. "I'm impressed, Cassandra."
capable of putting aside personal misgivings for the greater good," Cassandra replied, tone miffed. "While I am concerned about the risk of maleficarum or others with ill intent taking advantage of such a measure, this region's templars go too far. The Maker decreed magic is to serve man, not mark those who possess it for death."
"I still think you humans have a strange god for him t' want ya t' lock up and waste such a gift--even if it is a double-edged sword at times," Tighe remarked. "But I didn't mean t' imply you would sabotage my proposal. In fact, thank you for being willing t' present it in th' first place."
"You're most welcome. Not that hearing it from one of their own made it any easier for them to stomach," she grumbled.
"Ah, well. We didn't expect them t' budge, did we?" He traced another idle icy design in the pillars grooves. Tall. Strong. Sword at her hip and hope in her eyes.
"True. And now it's in the past, there is other work to be done, Inquisitor
." Cassandra's emphasis on the title was not subtle, and shifted the dragging weight of Saving The World firmly back into focus.
"Can't I just have a few minutes?" Tighe pleaded, doing his best to look pathetic.
The Seeker wasn't buying it. "Why do you think I indulged in conversation?"
"B'cause I'm irresistible and y' want me?" If only. She'd never be interested in someone like him, who struggled to be serious even when his life depended on it. Whose tongue got him in almost as much trouble as the mark on his hand or magic at his command.
"Guess again," she snorted, amusement flashing briefly in her eyes.
"Ah, y' wound me, dearest Cassandra." He pantomimed being struck in the heart, forgetting he was perched a good six or seven feet above the ground behind him. He would have been reminded in a most painful fashion had Cassandra not grabbed a fistful of his shirt.
"Many more stunts like that, and I won't need to," she chided after righting him. She released his shirt and turned on her heel to head back inside. "Leliana has received a report from our base in the Hinterlands she is most eager to share with you, Inquisitor."
Tighe took the hint with an exaggerated sigh as he slid off the wall, leaving behind a plethora of melting curlicues and spirals--and one ice warrior doggedly clinging to the marble upon which she was displayed.
An ice warrior Cassandra pretended not to see when she glanced back over her shoulder to ensure the elven mage was following her. Just like Tighe pretended not to see the girlish smile that curled her lips.