Varric knelt in the forest clearing well after dusk. He placed a jug of cool water onto the grass beside him, followed by a bottle of fragrant Orlesian oil. He drew a slim candle out from his pocket, nestled it in the dirt, and lit the wick. It's soft glow bathed him in oranges and reds. He looked around the clearing and smiled. It was ready. This would be a night to remember.

His Lady waited patiently, nestled in the arms of the grass and moss. The moonlight shrouded her in its soft embrace. The most pronounced of her curves caught the flickering candlelight. She was radiant. A dream.

"Beautiful," he rasped under his breath.

A chill breeze drifted lazily across the clearing. Varric smiled.

"Cold?" he teased. "I think I have just the thing to warm you up."

He removed the delicate crystal stopper from the bottle of oil. He held it out above his Lady and drizzled the oil over her in a slim line, from bottom to top. The heady scent of roses drifted up to his crooked nose. It was intoxicating. He reached out reverently with his calloused hands and began to rub the oil over her. His hands moved slowly, drawing his gentle ministrations out. She warmed at his touch, but remained perfectly still.

His smile turned tender. He knew her intimately. Better, even, than he knew himself. Her every line, her every dip and her every curve were engrained in his memory. They filled his vision every time he closed his eyes and when he entered the Fade each night it was of her that he dreamed.

She was a siren, and he a foolish sailor, throwing himself into danger to hear her song. Just the thought of her voice made his palms sweat; his fingers twitch. There was nothing in existence more precious to him.

Time became fluid. It's passing was marked only by his gentle caress and the dance of the moon above them. The hours passed by in an instant.

As Varric reached her furthest point the candle sputtered out. He looked down at her and smiled. She gleamed brighter than the most magnificent jewel. Her kiss was deadlier than a viper's bite.

Varric removed a small bar of soap from his pocket, dipped it in the jug of water, and washed the oil from his hands. A cold wind cut across the clearing, sending a shiver down his spine. His Lady never moved.

He caressed her softly, from prod to tiller, over her many gears and levers. His calloused flesh chilled against her wood and metal frame. His fingers lingered gingerly upon her trigger.

She was perfect.

"Come on, Bianca," he purred as he swept his Lady - his beloved crossbow - up into his arms. "Let's go home."


Author's Notes:

I obviously don't own Dragon Age, Varric or Bianca.

This on shot was written for a February writing challenge on Deviantart, for a Dragon Age fanfiction community. It needed to be a romance under 1000 words involving a short man with a crooked nose, a forest clearing, a jug of water and a candle.

This is the first one-shot I've ever written, as well as the first time I've written in the Dragon Age fandom, or for a challenge. It's also in a slightly different style than I usually write, so I'm sure there's lots of room for improvement.