This has been sitting in my inbox forever and I have no excuse! I hope you’re still out there anon, and I hope you enjoy this.
“I still cannot believe you talked her into this.”
“What? Elissa’s not that hard to lie to.”
“Oh, is that so? You find lying so easy then? Perhaps you should have been a bard.”
“Heh. ‘Cept I can’t sing worth a damn. But Elissa’s easy. You just kinda shower her with compliments and then act like you let something slip and she’ll drag the information out of you.”
“Maker. What did you tell her?”
“I told her that butterflies were ancient sacred symbols to the Qunari.”
Leliana’s mouth fell open. “And she actually believed you?”
Solona shrugged. “Sure. I told her I learned it in the Fade. What’s she gonna say? I didn’t?”
Leliana and Solona crouched behind a couple of leafy bushes, watching Elissa as she walked up to Sten carrying a giant butterfly sword. They were too far away to hear what she said, but they could see their expressions clearly.
“But why are we hiding? Won’t she just—”
“Shh! Look, it’s happening!”
Even from this vantage, they could see how much Elissa was enjoying herself. She presented the glowing butterfly sword as if it were a precious heirloom or a long-lost magical artifact, handing it to him with both hands, the blade balancing gingerly on one palm, her fist closed over the pommel. Her head was held high and her chin stuck out and she looked just exactly like someone pretending to be Queen would look.
This is going to be great. The giggle Solona tried to suppress escaped through her clenched teeth, leading to a very undignified snort. Leliana just shook her head.
“Wait for it…”
She wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, but it wasn’t for the two of them to chat quietly and then turn in her direction. Sten seemed unruffled, but the expression on Elissa’s face…
Leliana sighed. “Can’t she sense where you are?”
Solona hesitated a heartbeat. “Oh shit.”
“You didn’t really think this through did you?”
“Thinking’s more Elissa’s gig. I’m more of a seat-of-her-knickers kind of girl.”
Elissa began walking toward them, no trace of the luminous expression from before on her face. Her brows were pulled down into an angry scowl and she stomped over with a determined gait.
“And what are your knickers telling you now?”
“They’re telling me… uh…” She grabbed at Leliana’s arm, pulling her. “Run!”