your sure steps, full of foreign grace
(Now, I know they are representing a military organization and all, but for the sake of the fic let us pretend that dresses were an option for Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.)
The ball at Halamshiral comes as a pleasant distraction, knee-deep in shit as the Inquisition is at present, and Varric finds himself enjoying it, surprisingly enough. But there’s good food and ale (or what Orlais tries to pass off as ale, anyhow), and enough good stories to pass the time as their honoured leader lurks the shadows for shifty souls and hearsay.
And – there’s the Seeker, who Ruffles has somehow wrangled into a dress for the occasion. It’s a dark piece, deep purple folds and with a plunging back that’s got to have her feeling exposed – no warrior he’s ever known would willingly put on an ensemble like that and go unarmed, but Ruffles is nothing if not terrifyingly convincing (and Varric sincerely doubts Cassandra is entirely without a weapon).
She stays to the sides, trying (and failing) to keep out of sight, but the talk trails at her back in reverent whispers (‘What is Lady Pentaghast wearing?’, 'Unmarried at that age, imagine!’ 'What a posture, so awkward – almost like a man!’), but she bears the blows with her chin held high in defiance, and Varric watches her prowl the edges of the room on restless feet.
She catches his eye across the ballroom and he raises his glass in greeting, and she turns away so fast she almost trips on the hem of her dress. And it takes him a moment and a swig of his drink to make his decision, and then he’s crossing the room.
“Enjoying yourself, Seeker?”