"Dance?" His hand is outstretched, his expression that same cheeky grin that has entranced her since Ostagar. She cannot help but smile as she takes his hand and is led to the clearing. Around the Dalish camp there is laughter and song and, as he leads her through the steps, she realises that this may be the last night that peace reigns over their little party before the storm really hits.
Behind her, she can hear Wynne and Oghren laughing – the first genuine laugh, free of stress and toil, that the mage has produced since they met at the purging of the Circle, and it is refreshing and gorgeous. Zevran is nowhere to be seen – either keeping a wary eye on proceedings, or a watchful eye on some pretty thing, knowing him. Morrigan – probably sulking at the campsite somewhere. This kind of camaraderie was still beyond her. Sten's stoic shadow can be seen just at the edge of the circle of frivolities. From some distant reaches in the trees, Leliana's sweet voice carries beautiful Dalish verse to accompany the rhythmic melodies performed by the artisans, and around her the beloved warhound chases children in good spirits. She smiles, worry lines melting away if only for a night, and in front of her, not missing a step, Alistair mirrors her expression, pulling her closer as they spin and skip and sway around the bonfire to the music that infuses their weary souls with happiness.
All too soon, the songs die down and the elves sit around in small groups, quiet discussions and stories being shared, and she finds herself sitting within the arms of the almost-templar, next to her other companions and listening to a tale of the Dalish. His fingertips lightly stroke her arm almost unconsciously as the words spill out and surround them, bringing to life a past rich in colour and emotion. It speaks of warriors past, and glories never forgotten, and she wonders for the longest time why humans insist on fighting such a culture that never forgets the sacrifices of the past. Leaning into the crook of his shoulder, she feels her eyelids begin to tire, and he is soon leading her back to their tiny campsite, low murmurs lulling her into a contented tired state. As she falls to the bedroll with a gasp, he kisses her hand and creeps towards the tent opening.
"Where are you going?" He turns to her with a soft smile. "Stay?"
"How could I refuse," he chuckles, stroking her hair gently out of her face and curling around her small form.
"You can't. I lead, you listen to me," she laughs. He grins, placing a kiss on her forehead.
"Yes, mistress." But her eyes are tired, and she soon cannot keep them open. Sleepily, she sighs as his arms snake around her, feeling his warm breath on the top of her head.
"I'm glad we get days like this," she whispers. "Even if they're rare."
"If we had this every day, would it be nearly as special?"
"Mm, maybe not. But it'd still be nice." She feels rather than hears his laugh.
"When this is all over, I'll take you on a tour of Ferelden and every night will be like this." The promise of a time after the fight makes her heart soar, but she cannot help but worry.
"Of course, love." She feels him stroke her cheek. "We will fight, and we will win, and then we will live. I promise you now, I'll make it happen." And she believes him, completely, as she slips into dreams that are not visions of darkness and demons.