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Reactions: Before and After

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"You know that's not your heart right?"

Cassandra looked down at the flower pinned wonkily to the top of her leather sleeve. "It was as close as I could get," she said, self consciously.

"Ah yes, the breastplate," said Iron Bull, cheerfully emphasising the word breast. "Never bother with those myself. Not that I'd want to pin a flower to my skin either... Josephine should have gotten you a paper flower. Then you could have stuck it on there with glue!"

"Too subtle," said Sera. "Should be a big label. Property of Josephine Mon teedle yay the fourth. Or whatever her name is."

"I am trying to train," said Cassandra, through gritted teeth. Knowing that Sera and Iron Bull both knew the courtship was false did not make this conversation the slightest bit less embarrassing.

"Don't let us stop you." Sera turned back to Iron Bull. "So. I'm thinking...a brass band. To follow Cassandra around playing love songs. Super romantic, right?"

"Sounds good to me! But we qunari never bother with all this courtship nonsense, so what would I know."

Sera gasped. "You don't? But then...what do you do with all your brass bands?"

"So I hear that I have you to blame for this foolishness," said Cassandra.

"I am trying to save your life," said Leliana, "You could stand to be a little more grateful. There is too much danger in assassinating Lord Elias directly, the repercussions were it linked back to the Inquisition would be dire. And this way is more fun." She gave a sharp smile.

"For you, perhaps."

"There are worse fates than being given flowers by a pretty girl, Cassandra. It is Josephine I feel sorry for. Forced to pretend to be in love, and with you. What will people think of her tastes?"

"Ha," said Cassandra, without humour. She was sure there had been a time when Leliana's friendly teasing had seemed a little more...friendly. "But you two are close...does it not worry you what this will do to Josephine's reputation? Asides from implying that she has poor taste in women."

"Her reputation? For what, having a discreet affair? Being romantic? There is no shame in such things."

"I suppose not." She should not have expected an Orlesian to understand.

" are right," said Leliana, "I am very protective of Josie. She is a good friend, and I have known her since she was very young. If she was to take a lover...I would want them to be someone I trusted, who I knew would not take advantage of her or break her heart." She gave Cassandra a significant look. "The criteria for a false lover are similar. "

"Leliana...of course I would never...even if I was attracted to her, which I am not, the very idea..."

"I know," said Leliana with a smile. "I did say I trusted you."

"I...suppose you did," said Cassandra. "Thank you."

"But do be careful. She has an affectionate heart, and you are not entirely unattractive, in the right light."

Cassandra snorted in disbelief. Not that she considered herself ugly, by any means, but she doubted anyone in Josephine's position would find Cassandra's awkward flailing attractive, unless they had very poor taste in women indeed.

"I promise to do my best not to be too charming," said Cassandra.

Leliana gave her an affectionate pat on the hand. "That is all I ask."