Fluff week finishes with this light-hearted one-shot where I play around with some of the campfire conversations. While it's convenient to chat one on one with the companions in-game, I think it's more fun to imagine them this way. They fight together during the day, so why not socialize together in the evening?
Have You Never…?
Aedan sighed with contentment. He liked it when Zevran cooked. The Antivan had a way with herbs that made even the stringiest rabbit taste divine.
"It seems our assassin has once again saved us from a fate worse than death." Wynne looked pointedly at Alistair as she wiped her mouth and sat back with a sigh of her own.
Aedan laughed and Alistair groaned. "You're making fun of my cooking again, aren't you?"
Leliana chuckled and got the next jibe in. "You have to admit, Alistair, that when you're not sniffing and tasting everything Zevran prepares as if it were laced with poison, you tend to eat it all, and before the rest of us have even begun."
"I'm still growing! Anyway, Aedan usually finishes before I do, his manners are disgusting."
Aedan confirmed this with a burp and rubbed his belly contentedly. "I don't have royal blood. I'm allowed to be a pig."
Alistair rolled his eyes. "You really are never going to let that one go, are you?"
"Nope." Aedan grinned as he watched Alistair grumble and wave him off with a flick of his fingers.
Leliana smiled at the exchange before turning her attention toward Zevran. "Wynne is right, Zevran, your cooking skills are unmatched."
"They are not the only skills I possess, my dear bard." Zevran winked at her and Aedan frowned. When the Antivan flirted with Wynne it was outrageously funny, but not Leliana. Aedan wondered, not for the first time, if Zevran had designs on the fair Orlesian bard.
He felt another pair of eyes on him and looked over to meet Morrigan's considering gaze. He looked away. Why couldn't Zevran look at Morrigan and Leliana spare a glance for him?
A nudge brought his attention back to his side of the campfire and he accepted the wineskin from Alistair and took a healthy pull.
He passed it to Sten. The Qunari had yet to speak this evening which wasn't unusual. Sten only spoke when he had something to say. The large warrior took the skin, sniffed it, sampled it and then downed half the contents in one long swallow.
The wine made its way around the fire until Zevran attempted to hand it to Wynne. The mage shook her head and said she wanted an early night. The companions bid her goodnight and she disappeared. Leliana and Morrigan left shortly afterwards, the bard fussing with the maleficar's hair. Aedan exchanged a look with Alistair. Yesterday they had both heard Leliana asking Morrigan why she wore such rags and they had snickered over it later.
Alistair had tugged at Aedan's threadbare shirt and said, "Why do you wear such rags, Aedan?"
"I don't have your fine taste in dresses, Alistair."
"Oh, but you'd look so fetching in blue."
Zevran had got into the spirit of things, suggesting trim and accessories, but Sten only watched, his dark eyes flicking from one to the other as if he struggled to understand another language.
Zevran collected the wineskin and offered it again to Alistair. "So which of our lovely female companions are you following with your eyes, Alistair?"
Alistair spluttered over the wine and said, "Ah, both, I mean, neither?"
Zevran titled his head. "Both? You do not include the lovely Wynne in your daydreams?"
Alistair blushed and Aedan laughed at both Zevran's comment and his fellow warden's reaction. He took the wine from Alistair's hands and had another drink himself, making sure he'd had all he wanted before passing it to Sten. Sure enough, the Qunari finished it off and put it aside with a small sigh.
Alistair answered indignantly, "I don't daydream, Zevran, or at least, I'm pretty sure I don't entertain the same fantasies as you might."
Aedan grinned. He knew how the elf would respond to this and waited for the words to come.
"And what fantasies do you think I might entertain, hm? Other than thoughts of Wynne's magical bosom." Zevran winked at Aedan and they chuckled together at Alistair's growing embarrassment.
"Let's change the subject, shall we?" Alistair turned to Sten, pointedly ignoring Aedan and Zevran, which only made Aedan laugh harder. "We've yet to sample Qunari cuisine. Have you never cooked a meal, Sten?
"Ah, you are verbose as usual, Sten. Tell me, have you never cut your hair? I am curious." Zevran had moved closer to the dark-skinned man and was examining his braids. Sten pulled his head away and once again answered, "No."
Aedan opened his mouth to speak but Sten held up a hand, his soft voice rumbling. "Is this a game? I do no play games."
Alistair piped up, "I like games."
Aedan grinned and clapped Alistair on the shoulder. "Take a turn then, but I wouldn't choose Sten if I were you."
Alistair narrowed his eyes and looked at Zevran. "Alright, you seem to know a lot about herbs and such. Have you ever used poison to flavour a dish instead?"
"Ah, you mean professionally, or in a more recreational capacity?"
Aedan shivered and saw a look of uncertainly cross Alistair's face. As usual, Sten looked on impassively. Alistair held out a hand, palm open, in a gesture that said, 'you choose'.
Zevran considered the ex-templar a moment. When he answered, his light tone belied his words. "In my line of work it is inevitable that innocents will perish. But we all die, Alistair, if not the Crows, then perhaps the darkspawn, no?"
Aedan found himself nodding to this and his jovial mood seemed to be melting away. Not ready to give into glumness he immediately followed up with a question of his own. He glanced meaningfully toward Wynne's tent and asked, "Have you ever had a woman such as Wynne?"
Alistair made an odd noise, not quite shock, and Zevran's eyes sparkled and his mouth pulled into a smile. "Such as Wynne? You mean a woman of a more ripe vintage? Certainly, my young Warden, and I highly recommend the experience. But now it is my turn to ask a question, no?"
The former assassin glanced between the three of them and Aedan noted Alistair shrank back as far as he, they were both well aware of the sort of questions Zevran might ask. The elf's gaze landed on Sten.
"Sten, have you never seen a woman lift a blade before?" His tone was curious.
Aedan and Alistair both groaned and Zevran laughed. "Come, my purple eyed friend, perhaps you would care to elaborate for once?"
"You Fereldens all want to be something you are not. Why are your women not content to keep their place?"
Aedan bit his lips together as he imagined his mother 'keeping her place'. He had not thought of her in a while and found that the months had dulled the pain of her loss a little and that he could contemplate her skill with weapons with pride. "My mother was a fearsome warrior, Sten; she would have faced you down and not blinked. But she had great beauty and compassion also…" he trailed off memories welled before him and cleared his throat.
Alistair turned to Sten and asked, "Would you like to ask a question?"
"No." But the Qunari's tone did not convey harshness or disinterest and he had made no move to leave the campfire.
Alistair nodded and turned his eyes upon Aedan. Aedan held up a hand. "Wait, I have a good one."
Aedan looked at Alistair and watched his friend quail beneath his gaze. He grinned. "So, if you were raised in a chantry, have you never…?'
"Never...? Never what? Had a good pair of shoes?"
Zevran laughed, Sten raised a brow and Aedan sighed and shook his head. "You know what I mean."
"I'm not sure I do. Have I never seen a basilisk? Ate Jellied ham? Have I never licked a lamppost in winter?"
Aedan laughed, though he felt like grumbling. He should have known better than to try and be coy with Alistair, the ex-templar could usually talk circles around him.
"What is this jellied ham? Is it a confection of some sort?" Sten's eyes had widened.
Zevran waved a hand in Sten's direction. "No."
Aedan gave his friend rueful look and rephrased his question. "You know, sex."
"Oh, so that's what we're talking about!" Alistair's eyes glinted mischievously. "You tell me first."
Sten leaned forward and Zevran chuckled as he glanced from one warden to the other.
Aedan leaned back and smiled. "Of course I have."
"I can attest to the truth of that, Alistair. My young warden friend certainly knew how to please Isabella, no blushing virgin there." Zevran winked.
Alistair grinned. "Ah, the dueling lessons, yes. Wait, you were in there together?"
Aedan looked at Zevran and the former assassin looked back at him and they laughed together at the shared memory of Isabella's cabin. They nodded and Alistair spluttered. "Did you, actually, I don't want to know."
Zevran laughed again before redirecting the question once more. "Sten, care to add your answer to this delightful question?"
Aedan rocked back with laughter, not knowing if Sten meant to answer the question of if that was the answer. Either way he found it funny. He wiped a tear of mirth from his eyes and turned back to Alistair. "So that leaves you."
Alistair drew up his shoulders and answered, "Uh, no. Not that I haven't thought about it, of course, but... you know."
"You lack the proper parts?" Aedan's grin turned into a chuckle as he heard Zevran's cackle and Sten's appreciative grunt.
"Oh, that's funny. Your cruel japes will be remembered, ser. If you hear sobbing later, that's me crying myself to sleep."
Zevran spread his hands and offered, "Perhaps you would like to accompany us for some dueling lessons of your own?"
"But I do not wield two blades…" Alistair winked at the pair of them and Aedan laughed.
"Where only one is required? I'm sure Aedan wouldn't mind making the introductions, Alistair, Isabella doesn't mind extra company."
Aedan winked and nodded toward his friend and Alistair seemed a little flustered as he said, "I've no urge to rush into anything."
Aedan patted his shoulder. "And so you shouldn't be. The offer stands, however." He snickered, he couldn't help it.
Alistair growled softly, but his eyes held humour. He fixed Aedan with a questioning look. "So you seem to have wriggled out of answering any questions at all thus far."
Zevran and Sten's eyes also turned toward him and Aedan leaned back a little under their scrutiny. "I answered yours, Alistair."
"You merely answered your own question, I think," put in Zevran.
Aedan shrugged. "So, ask away then."
Sten spoke, his voice gruff. "You follow the bard everywhere with your eyes, Kadan, why have you never taken her to your tent?"
Aedan flushed. This, the Qunari had to ask him this? Why couldn't he get a teasing question like everyone else? All eyes rested on him and he flushed harder. Alistair and Zevran started snickering.
Aedan said quietly, "We're still getting to know one another."
"You knew Isabella for exactly how long?" Alistair prodded gently.
Aedan grinned, happy for the slight reprieve. "That's different."
"Ah, so feelings are involved then, my friend." Zevran's face held a considering expression.
Aedan thought back to Zevran's flirtatious attitude toward Leliana earlier in the evening and nodded his head toward the elf. "What of you, Zevran, do you plan to ask Leliana to your tent?" The words left his mouth dry.
"Ah, she is lovely, yes? But her eyes do not follow me and I have no wish to put myself where I am not wanted."
"Who is she following with her eyes? How come I haven't seen any of this furtive looking?" Alistair questioned and complained at the same time.
"You are always looking ahead and not behind." Sten paused and then nodded toward Aedan. "She watches you also, Kadan."
She did? Aedan experienced an odd little flutter in his chest and looked down, considered his boots a moment. When he looked up his companions were all looking at him again as if expecting an answer and he held out his hands. "That wasn't a question!"
They broke off into good natured laughter and Aedan smiled along with them, but couldn't help stealing a glance toward Morrigan's camp. Alistair jabbed a finger into his shoulder and Zevran snickered. Sten merely regarded him with those eerie purple eyes.
"Stop looking at me!" Aedan tried to sound gruff, but he couldn't help laughing at their identical expressions. He glanced from one man to another and rubbed his hands together. "Alright, alright, is it my turn to ask a question?"