Reposting for Sigrun week since I am inordinately proud of this bit o’ fluff.
“Tell me if you want to go back in,” he had noticed the way her eyes were glittering, and how her mouth had twisted ever so slightly to the right. It was the way she expressed concern for these things, small for him and their companions, but huge for her.
“I can kill darkspawn all day long,” her knees bent a little more, putting her closer to the roof. “Butair makes me nervous.”
He offered his hands, noticing as he always did the ring he’d not taken off for over a year. It was a strange circle of wood and had he not such attachment to it, to what it represented…
love, beauty, companionship…loss
…had he not turned it into a portable memorial to the things gained and taken away over his lifetime, he might find it as disquieting as others seemed to. It reeked, Alistair once told him, of old magic and plotting. Mwahaha. Ron had just stared at it, trying to see what his friend meant but smelling nothing more than Morrigan’s scent: earth and herbs, leather and her.
It reeked of home, to him. In more ways than one.
He could tell by the apprehension in her ocean-colored eyes that Sigrun was aware of his distracted contemplation even as she fit her hands into his, hands so different from those he was used to holding. Morrigan’s had been just as pale, but her fingers had been slender, almost spindly, and longer than his own. Sigrun’s hands were small heavily scarred squares and even her fingertips were right angles and nothing like the smooth curves that had traced down his neck, his chest and his stomach so many times before.
She was here at his invitation, and he tightened his fingers around hers in reassurance I will never let you fall and they made it to the tower’s peak together, the slope giving way to a flat expanse upon which they could sit comfortably far from any precipitous edges.
“Doesn’t this make you nervous?” Sigrun was technically kneeling, and not sitting. Despite her ingrained concerns with the sky and its vastness, there was an entire world of beauty spread out below them. Past, of course, the Vigil’s own rambling construct. Rivers glittered in early afternoon sun, and the farmlands were varying shades of green and gold broken up by meandering stone walls that, from this distance, seemed no more than charcoal lines scrawled across a pristine landscape painting.
It was lovely, even at a distance, and she needed to see it.
“Why would this make me nervous?” Ron leaned back, his weight on his hands with his legs stretched in front of him. “I practically grew up in tree tops, leaping above the forest floor to scout and spy. Would you be nervous in a well-lit cave?”
She looked back at him and he admired her profile, framed as it was by sun-filled sky. He liked her nose, the way it tilted up slightly at the end, and he liked her ever crooked half-smile.
“As long as the cave didn’t have spiders…or thaig crawlers. Or deepstalkers. Or, of course,darkspawn…” she laughed. “Is that it?”
Ron tilted his head thoughtfully.
“Well, those are dwarven caverns. Up here our caves can have bandits, spiders, bears, bats and big dark chasms that swallow you whole without warning,” he thought, momentarily, of other things he’d found in caves, things that had set his life on its inexorable march away from his clan, away from the world he knew. Through torment to here, an entirely different world that he was slowly shaping into his own. “Whoever made our caves obviously didn’t work for Voldrik or any dwarven mason. No light shafts, no bridges. He would be so disappointed. I just try to avoid them when I can.”
“Huh,” she frowned. “That seems like a sound plan. Don’t want to be swallowed by a chasm.”
“After ending up wrapped in a spider web,” he shuddered.
“And covered in bats!” She returned to facing ahead, her neck stretching to see as much as she could, the sky no longer a worry. “This is much better, to be honest.”
It’s getting there.
“I can’t say I disagree,” and his mind went back to the first time they’d been like this, side by side and admiring. Then it was the night sky, the stars seeming impossibly close to earth that evening. It was almost as if they knew there was a dwarf observing them, a woman who considered each one an unfathomable miracle, and were preening for her attention.
He was there to avoid walls and ceilings, finding himself increasingly ill-at-ease in his bed in hisroom, confined on all sides by wood and stone. She was there to shed her skin, just leaving the Deep Roads not enough to make her forget where she’d come from and what she had been. The stars, she told him, with the infinite blue-black around them, were so far removed from Dust Town that it wasn’t like seeing a new thing, but rather like having entirely new eyes.
Ron understood her completely, remembering how he’d felt when he first found himself at Orzammar and how everything was so hard, so angular. It was the vast difference between hispeople and hers. The Dalish worked in woods taken from trees born from dirt, that lived, that breathed, that altered themselves according to the air around them. The dwarves shaped their world from stone that only changed when forced.
Sigrun was, he realized, nothing like stone. She was changing according to the air around her, the sunlight darkening her skin and making her brand less noticeable every day. Her cheeks, painfully sunken when they’d found her in Kal’hirol, were filling out from regular meals, and it had been days since she’d spoken of Death The Inevitable.
She was nothing like Morrigan, either, and he was finding himself more comfortable with thatevery day.
“Sigrun,” he squinted as the sun seemed suddenly bright for areason that, he was certain, hadnothing to do with the surge of wistfulness he felt at the mental intersection of then and now.
She settled back so that she was seated beside him, and she’d been topside for months yet this all still amazed her. The spark in her eyes, the vibrancy of appreciation that brightened every corner of her face, made her more compelling a thing to look at than wild perfection. To him, at least.
And that was even before she saw the spyglass he held in his hands, her expression going wildly ecstatic at the sight of polished brass.
“How do you even know what this is?” He held it out so that she could it carefully take it, her fingers running lightly across its surface.
“I saw a picture in one of the books in the keep,” she giggled, her laughter an honest thing that made him smile even at the worst of times. “Anders has most of the filthy ones in his room, so all that’s left are genealogies and history books.”
Without further hesitation, she was on her feet and there was a moment of whoa that caught them both before Ron was on his knees and there for her, steadying her with hands firm against the outside of her thighs.
“You don’t have to stand, you know,” he looked ahead and then laughed as she pushed up onto her toes in defiance. “Ok, ok. There’s a world to see and you want to see as far as you can.”
Later, she would try to give the spyglass back to him, surprised to discover that it was a gift and not a temporary pleasure. She would bring up the Legion, how they weren’t supposed to have possessions, and he would gently remind her that she was a Grey Warden now, that the rules were different. They were allowed stuff, and afternoons spent on a rooftop admiring that which they fought to protect. They were even allowed some happiness, if they could find it and keep it.
Later later, she would approach him on the roof at night, having thought about other things she might want to find and want to keep. Things such as him as her quirky little mouth touched his and he learned that her fingers against his neck and chest could be just as tender as anyone else’s.
In this moment on the roof, however, they did not speak. Sigrun was too busy seeing and Ron was occupied with watching her see, aware of her warm beneath his fingertips as he rested his cheek chastely against her hip and wondered at how soft it was.
Soft and nothing like stone.