You can barely breathe, there in the Frostback mountains. The air burns your throat and nose with frost, and each gasp comes with a cringe of pain and nowhere near enough air, made up for with sputtering as you try not to choke on the hail and snow and sleet that assails you as you try to push through the storm. You know it is probably a futile thing, to even try to fight a storn in the most treacherous mountain range known to man, but you are a woman with a mission. A mission you might just throttle Cassandra for, but a mission neverthless. You will not fail.
You did not fight for all these years - with glinting daggers that have left invisible imprints in your hands, or with the solid slender wood of a bow that you can fire with precision like next to none other, or your words, the sweet kindness that everyone yearned to hear -, you did not fight against corrupt nobility hordes of twisted darkspawn and the Maker-damned Archdemon and every other infernal device that has been thrown at you without a chance to take a breath - just to succumb to a damn storm.
This is nothing.
Your cloak whips around you in a frenzy as you take one step, your arms braced in front of you as you force yourself through the livid winds. You cannot see one step in front of you. You might just as well walk right off of a cliff, and that would be the end of you. No, you won’t. You deserve a much better ending to your story. Or at the very least, you’ve at least earned the right to go out with some style, a bit of flair.
You begin constructing possible, impossible, ludicrous fates for yourself in your mind, as some way to keep yourself occupied and so you can drown out the wind shrieking insults in your ears with the voices of everyone you have ever loved.
(And as the brave Leliana bowed for the final time, she followed the Maker into the light.)
No, no, that is rather boring, you think, wiping at your eyes to rid yourself of a pesky spattering of sleet. You might have been satisfied with it years ago, back when your home was peaceful and quiet and there was a dead rosebush that bloomed one day. Now, though, now you needed something different. You needed something with more oomph. Your life for the past ten-odd years has been nothing but oomph.
(Without another word more, her dagger still dripping with scarlet at her hip, Sister Nightingale slipped into the shadows of the night, never to be seen again.)
Better, better. But…something just isn’t right about it. You need more.
Up ahead, the relentless sheets of snow and welt-leaving hail darken, and you manage to squint enough to make out the shadow of rock, of an indentation - no, could that be a cave? …Yes, it was! You push harder against the forceful weather and almost stumble into the entrance as the harsh force suddenly falters. You can feel your lips curve up into a relieved smile despite yourself.
(And Leliana made into a cave, so now she won’t get blown off the side of a mountain to her death, which most likely would have been awful and gory and splatterful.)
Your eyes register the faint glow of a fire seconds later, and then a silhouette crouching by it. The person turns to you, and you have grown so accustomed to evil that your bow is already drawn and aimed at the person. You know this person could just be sheltering from the storm, like you, but you also know that they could be here for a less pleasant reason as well.
“Leliana?” the figure says after a beat, and your eyes narrow as you pull the arrow back a bit farther.
“How do you know my name,” you snarl, your eyes never leaving the shadowed figure.
The person stands. Your clever eyes dart instantly to the figure - a lithe, muscled form, albeit of slightly smaller stature. An elf, possibly, or just a petite human. You hear armor clanking conspicuously. This person, whoever they might be, are clearly not out here as a simple traveler who got caught in a storm. This person was here on a mission just like you, and they came prepared for a fight, just like you. Did you come for the same purpose?
“You…aren’t quite inconspicuous anymore,” the figure says wryly, her (for the voice is decidedly female) tone a strange mix of bitter and amused. “Not that you ever really were inconspicuous, but the public does seem to have a decent knowledge of who you are and what you’ve done.”
“You are not a common member of the public,” you allege, and you know yourself to be correct. This person speaks as if intimately familiar with you, and no random peasant or commoner is intimately familiar with you. Not anymore, anyways - they used to be once, perhaps, but now you don’t have time to frolic and play and chat idly with villagers. Your conversations are rather limited to deadly nobility these days, and the only game you play is the Grand variety.
"Unfortunately," the stranger agrees.
You pace back and forth slightly, uncomfortable.
"Any chance you’re going to put the bow down? Last I checked, it was supposed to be pointed at darkspawn and an archdemon, not me."
You do not budge, although your mind is whirling with sudden connections.
"No chance at all."
"Not even for a pair of blue satin shoes?"
(Leliana dashed back outside into the storm. She’d rather take her chances with the cliff and the splattery death, than with the likes of an ex lover.)
"And then comes the recognition."