I love my M!Mahariel. He's such a angsty, bitchy little thing~.
And this story feels like it was rushed. I was trying to show how bipolar my Dalish boy is, but it just seems like I was bored and trying to get it done. Darn. D:
He's sitting by the fire, his blond hair still a mess from the trek through the mountains; strands damp from melted snow. His armor's been discarded, a thin shirt and trousers he picked up from a merchant the only thing keeping the chill at bay. Zevran recognizes the defeated slouch the elven Warden has fallen into. What possess him to go to the Dalish is beyond his comprehension.
Mahariel is fingering the small pendant, its smooth surface reflecting the light every time his thumb passes over it. He doesn't glance up from the fire when Zevran sits beside him. It's only moments before the Crow is flexing his fingers against his thigh, unaccustomed to such awkward silences around the ragtag camp.
"It is a fine piece of jewelry," he finally says in an attempt to provoke the other elf into conversation.
"It's worthless," is all he gets from his companion at first, but then the familiar anger sparks. "It might meaning something to a human, to someone that worships a burned woman and a god that turned his back on his followers, but it means nothing to me." Mahariel stands up, his hands clenching into fists. "It is an insult to my Gods, to me, to Tamlen!" He shouts, nostrils flaring. A growl slips out as he hurls the necklace into the fire. Zevran stills his automatic reaction to save the beautiful (and valuable!) pendant, a grimace plastering on his face as he watches the precious metal melt.
"Now, was that really necessary?" He tries to keep his tone light. "You could have bartered it, my Warden, or perhaps given it as a gift, as you're so fond of doing. The poor pendant never did a thing to you."
Mahariel whirls to glare at Zevran, the fire playing tricks across his face; makes the Dalish tattoos dance. But then the fury is gone, leaving scarlet eyes hollow. "No, you wouldn't understand. You value nothing in life but yourself, so of course you wouldn't understand."
Zevran feels his anger rise. He stands, drawing himself up to his full height, glaring down at Mahariel. "And nor do you, Warden," he spits out. "Do you think that one slain friend, one life lost, is enough to make the world stop? Think again. I have seen death, and I have seen such powerful mourning that the sun should have fled like the Maker Himself, and yet it does not."
He easily grasps the fist thrown at his face, crushing the knuckles in his own grip. Mahariel hisses in pain but doesn't back down. "I would choose my words more carefully, assassin," he murmurs.
Zevran knocks Mahariel's legs out from under him when he shifts to knee him; the Dalish lands on the rough ground, air rushing out of his lungs. Zevran follows him down, pinning his legs and hands. "Then I beg for you forgiveness, my Warden. I am, as it were, in your debt and servitude."
Mahariel inhales, slowly and shallowly, and stops struggling. Zevran draws back, resting on his haunches, his anger similarly sizzling out, replaced by an exhausted feeling of helplessness. Mahariel pulls himself away, one knee pulled up to his chest, the other leg sprawled before him, arms behind him and supporting his weight.
"I am sorry," Mahariel manages at last, and Zevran can only shake his head. The strange, sudden mood changes are not new to the assassin, and he's grown accustomed to them. "I should be over this," he continues. "I am not Mahariel; I am not Dalish. I am a Grey Warden. I know no regret for tragedies of another life long gone."
Zevran wants to slap him. Instead he pulls himself to the Warden's side, gripping his chin in one hand. "You are Mahariel still. But now you are more -- you are our leader, you are a Warden, and you are this filthy country's last hope. Please do not throw yourself on your sword and make me have to search for a new home so soon." He manages a teasing smirk, and is rewarded with an amused huff from Mahariel.
Zevran lets his hand fall, and the sit in the night, the only sounds their breathing and crackling fire.
"Thank you, Zevran," the Dalish whispers at last. He pulls away, and slips into his tent. Zevran only glances at his retreating form once, content for now to watch the fire. He reaches up to his ear, touching the fire-warmed piece of jewelry, mind wandering.
... Zevran is difficult to write. I don't imagine him getting angry often, but he had to for this scenario to work.
And I know I didn't add anything to show it, but this was supposed to take place after the Ashes quest, when you get Reflection from the ghost-y thing from your past. x] I imagine my M!Mahariel (Aldaren is what I named him) to be very unhappy with the gift.