A/N: If you haven't played Dragon Age, then you might be confused reading this. Alex is a human rogue, Toby is a Dalish warrior and Keres is a human mage.

Alex sighed. "Didn't the Circle teach you anything?"

"Oh, yes. They taught me lots of things. Why?" Keres looked up at the rogue curiously, breaking her concentration on healing Toby's frostbite.

He rubbed the bridge of his nose, annoyed. Toby had finally stopped his complaining, but the petulant look the warrior was giving him might as well have been louder than any bemoaning he could possibly do. Maker's breath, but they were a sight. "Because apparently you skipped the lesson where friendly fire is not okay."

Keres looked rightly admonished and ducked her head. "I didn't mean to! I was aiming for the bandits!"

"They were twenty yards to your left, Toby was right next to you."

"It was an accident!"

"Ow!" Toby flinched as the healer's touch turned a might punishable. "Andraste's tits, can you two quit your fighting until my fingers aren't black from cold?"

Alex threw his arms up and walked to the edge of their camp, Keres' apologies being a constant litany at his back that wouldn't stop until someone physically shut her up. At this rate it would be a miracle if they made it to the coastlands without killing one another.

The Blight was doing Toby no favors. As a warrior, he was used to the constant battles. As a Dalish elf, being constantly on the move was normal. But having to travel with a couple of shems was not, in any way, okay. His culture dictated he hate them on principle, which he did. Gladly. Especially the male shemlin. Rogue or no, if the man decided to keep vanishing while they traveled and leave him alone with the blabbering mage, Toby was going to run the pair of them through with his blade and pin them to an oak for the wolves to gnaw on.

"You're frowning again." Creator help him, the girl was too happy in the morning. The sun had yet to rise completely, and already she was skipping around the fire as if doped up on lyrium. "The Grand Enchanter says frowning is bad because it means you have not read your passage from the Chant of Light for the day. And you're supposed to always - "

"The Grand Enchanter is a religious nut and you're a seedling being fed lies from the Chantry," Toby snapped. Immediately, he regretted the insult upon looking at the girl's heartbroken expression. True, between the two of them their cultures clashed more often and more violently than mabari hounds fighting over a kill than with the rogue. The humans worshipped a shem and based there every action off what the revered Andraste would do, while the Dalish remained content with their Pagan gods and woodland standards of living. Were it anyone else, Toby would bask in the hurt he'd caused against the foolish human's idol. But, somehow, it felt wrong to make the girl cry.

"Oh..." Her eyes began to water. Toby sighed and got to his feet, all screaming metal greaves and creaking leather.

"Wait, Keres, I'm sorry," he said, awkwardly patting her shoulder. "That was rude."

She sniffled and refused to meet his eye. He'd forgotten how sensitive women could be. The Dalish would not be caught dead crying like this. Shems were such fragile things.

"I'm sure the Chantry does a wonderful job of educating you. You'll have to forgive me, I grew up like a savage, remember?" Internally he grimaced at the slight against his own people, but...tears. Toby wasn't good with crying.

Keres rubbed her eyes with the sleeve of her robe and nodded. "It's okay, Toby." Thankfully, a smile broke across her worried face and the warrior relaxed. "Alex told me you were on your cycle this week and that you'd be more moody than usual."

Toby blinked. "Cycle?"

"Yes," She smiled wider now that the elf had seemed to calm down. "It's okay to tell me when you're on it. The women at the Circle have it too, so I know what it is. I didn't know that the Dalish men underwent the same bodily function though. Alex assured me it's very natural, but that you might be a little...upset if I...brought it up. Toby? What's wrong?"

Toby could feel an embarrassed flush heating the tips of his pointed ears down to his neck. "Keres," he said slowly, grinding his molars to keep from screaming. "We don't have cycles. That's strictly for females."

"But Alex said..." Across the camp, Toby could hear the faint noise of the rogue's chuckle come from the thick foliage of the Brecilian forest. Toby flushed darker and took off at a sprint in the man's general direction.