Bethany sighed as she collapsed into one of the chairs on the second floor of the Herald’s Rest. The winter wind rattled through the curtains of the window next to her and she shivered, but welcomed the chill. She had spent the day with the healers, helping soldiers with injuries from the various raids and scouting operations the Inquisition had led, and was still warm from her busy day. It was strange for her to practice her magic so freely, and for the first time in a long time, have nobody judge her for what she was born with.
She smiled to herself, silently thanking her brother for bringing her with him. Even if he still forbade her from traveling further into Orlais, she was thankful to be involved in something bigger than her again, especially with some familiar faces. Bethany didn’t expect to be happy to see a Templar- former Templar- but Cullen was always kind to her. Then there was Varric, who Garrett had entrusted to keep her safe when he was away with the Inquisitor in Crestwood, or in the Western Approach investigating. Bethany couldn’t remember the last time she felt so happy, spending time with the dwarf.
A blush crept across her cheeks as she thought about him, internally yelling at herself for allowing feelings from nearly a decade ago resurface. She admitted, to nobody but herself, that she had a crush on the man when Garrett and her first met Varric. She always held a soft spot for him, even when she left to the Gallows and left to help her brother in Lothering. But now, she was older, and felt foolish about the way her heart nearly leapt from her chest when he entered the room.
In an effort to distract herself, she leaned her torso out the window, resting her chin in her hands as she glanced down to the courtyard. The sun was already disappearing beyond the horizon, leaving an orange glow to the grounds as the residents slowly walked to retire for the evening. Bethany couldn’t help but smile as she recognized the commander and the Inquisitor, walking slowly towards the main hall, their linked hands swinging between them. She continued to people watch as the sun continued to set until she felt the exhaustion fully kick in, closing her eyes for a brief moment.
Bethany snapped her eyes open at Varric’s voice breaking through the silence, and whipped her head around to find him eyeing her from a few feet away with an amused expression. She wondered just how long he had been standing there, watching her. She quickly recovered from her surprise, and turned towards him, cursing the way her heart was already pattering against her ribcage.
“Hello,” she softly responded, and eyed the pair of mugs he held in one hand, a bottle of whiskey in another. “Where are you going with that?” she laughed. Varric shrugged, but scooted the chair next to her out from the table with his foot as he placed the items down.
“Well, right here of course,” he replied, his usual smirk already present. He pushed a mug at her hands and she took it, watching him carefully pour the brown liquid for her. He noticed her stare and raised an eyebrow as he moved the bottle towards his own glass. “Enjoying the view?”
“What?” Bethany felt her ears twitch back in embarrassment as she snapped her eyes from his mouth to his eyes before looking at her hands.
“The sunset,” he continued with a small chuckle. “You were watching it, right?” he asked. Bethany looked back up at him from under her lashes, as she realized his meaning.
“Yes…” she trailed as she eyed the liquor floating in her cup. “What exactly is this?”
“It’s better than the Abyssal stuff Garrett likes to drink, trust me,” he paused to take a large gulp. “And it doesn’t taste like burning,” he teased. Bethany rolled her eyes, apprehensively taking a small sip. To her surprise, the drink tasted sweet, and only left a small tingle in her throat. “See, I knew you’d like it,”
Bethany smiled, but felt her cheeks burning from the combination of his stare and the whiskey. He only smiled a little wider at her and she blinked her gaze away.
“What?” she giggled nervously, and reached up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.
“There’s that smile,” Varric commented, and she noted the change in his tone.
“You’re spoiling me,” she commented, reaching up in an effort to hide the blush on her face. Varric surprised her by catching her hand, cupping her fingers and pulling it away from her cheeks.
“You deserve it,” he admitted.
Bethany grinned, but couldn’t help but notice how close he had scooted his chair near her. Her heart thumped in her chest, and she glanced back down at his ever-present smirk. Varric’s hand slipped up her wrist until he was cupping her elbow, and with a short tug, he brought her closer. His other hand to reached out to her cheek, his fingers brushing a few stray hairs away before he cupped it.
“You are stunning, you know that?” he mused.
Bethany gasped softly under his intense gaze, but calmed herself long enough to close her eyes as he led her to him. His kiss was soft, but as a moment passed, he applied more pressure, practically stealing the breath from her. She leaned into his grasp, and moved her hands to the front of his shirt, a few of her fingers brushing over the exposed part of his chest. She felt him smile against her lips before pulling away just a fraction.
“Varric?” she pursed her lips together when the realization of what just happened hit her. She wasn’t daydreaming, was she? “What was that for?” she asked. Varric pulled away a little more, but kept his hands where they were when he had kissed her.
“I’d rather not ruin this by getting sappy,” he shook his head, beside himself. “I’m not good at sappy,”
Bethany could only smile.
“Then kiss me again,” she laughed at her own words, feeling the delight of the moment fill up around her. Varric copied her laugh, almost instantly leaning in to oblige.
“Anything for my Sunshine,”