Author's Note: Inspired by the Zev Thread at Bioware Social Network, when we were discussing Zevran's comment on how Ferelden is harsh and cold compared to Antiva. :)
Zevran groaned to himself and huddled more deeply into his blankets and bedroll, all but burying his head beneath the covers. In the fleece-lined cocoon of his bedding it was quite warm, but merely peeking his face out into the wider space of his tent was a different story. His breath steamed. His nose felt numb. The tips of his pointed ears went stiff.
It was wretched. He'd thought the lowlands of Ferelden were cold; the Frostback Mountains were torture.
Outside came the disgustingly happy sounds of the dog barking and Alistair and Leliana laughing at something Asleena had said.
Just five more minutes.
This difficult decision made, he sighed contentedly and curled up.
He jumped at the voice right outside his tent. "Yes, my Grey Warden?"
"Are you even up?" She sounded suspicious.
There was a shadow of movement on the tent flap, as of two hands undoing ties. They froze for a second. "Are you dressed?"
"No," Zevran said, smirking inwardly. It was true. "But decent enough, my dear. You won't see anything to make you blush...not unless you wish it."
Her hands resumed the process of undoing ties. "Well, what's taking so long?"
"It is...simply so cold outside. How do you Fereldans manage it? I think of walking through those cold drifts in my beautiful leathers and wish to weep! Like it or not, and I do not, I assure you, parts of me will start freezing and falling off before too much longer. That would be a crime."
"Maker's breath. That's it?" Her face appeared behind the opening she'd managed, peering in at him with amused green eyes. "You're cold?"
"Freezing! A true friend would come here and help properly warm me up, no?"
"No," she agreed, smirking. "And that was much too predictable, Zevran. Get up, get dressed, have a hot breakfast and your poor Antivan blood will warm up in no time."
"Cruel woman," he accused. "Cold as the snows you force us to wade through!"
"It wouldn't be so bad if you wore the winter furs we purchased before coming up here," she reminded him. "If your toes or...other parts of you freeze and drop off, that's your fault. I'm not going to make you dress sensibly."
"Those furs are hideous, Asleena! The animals they were stripped from would protest at being being turned into such unsightly garments!"
"You're just saying that because you don't like how the cap messes up your hair." She grinned at him, an expression that seemed like she was enjoying his agony of aesthetics far too much than was proper. "Everyone else has to suffer the indignity of hat hair, so I'm sure a famous Antivan Crow can do the same. Now, you have five minutes before I'm sending Ferrix in here with orders to drag you outside by your bedroll."
He gave an over-dramatic moan and threw himself back into his blankets.
Four and a half minutes later he emerged into the crisp, chilly air, blond hair pressed flat to his skull by the detested fur cap, limbs bulky with other heavy garments. They would be easy to shed if a fight dropped upon them, but for now he felt like an ungainly furry fool.
Alistair and Ferrix were waiting just outside his tent, and the latter's tongue lolled out in a happy doggy grin as his tail wagged at the assassin's appearance. Alistair was also grinning broadly at him, but obviously trying hard not to. Zevran glowered at him, he coughed, excused himself and left in the direction of his tent.
Zevran sighed and looked at the mabari. "So. How do I look?" He spread his arms. "Be honest, my friend."
Ferrix just continued to pant at him. Zevran could have sworn the dog was laughing.
"Hm. I am surprised you let your tongue hang out as much as you do, especially up here. It is quite easy for such appendages to get stuck to cold surfaces, did you not know?"
The dog's head cocked and he whined.
"It's true. Try licking Alistair's shield or breastplate. Your tongue will stick to it like magic!"
Ferrix's head tilted even further, ears up and brown eyes staring in canine wonder, then he got up and padded off towards Alistair's tent, which the Warden was in the process of starting to pull down.
Zevran sauntered to the warmth of the campfire and breakfast, grinning to himself at the distant sound of metal crashing and Alistair yelling, then met Leliana's inquisitive gaze across the flames. The bard tilted her head towards the commotion, then asked, "Was that your doing, Zevran?"
"My dear Leliana," he protested innocently, lifting his bowl of steaming porridge and indicating the unflattering furs he wore. "I am just trying to get warmed up, no?"