Aliena Surana, 9:36 Dragon
The peppermint tea had been freshly made, steam still rising from the mug in swirls. To avoid burning her tongue Aliena took small sips, finally letting the much-needed calm wash over her. She let her eyelids knit shut, the corners of her lips curled up, not yet a true smile.
At the sound of Alistair’s approaching footsteps, she opened her eyes again, eyelashes fluttering open as if from sleep. Slowly, a wider smile crossed her lips, that expression she reserved just for him.
Silently, he came to sit by her side, his broad hand coming to rest on her smaller knee, and she playfully nudged him with her foot. The little things she did, only around him. No words were necessary between them. Everything that had needed to be said had already been, long ago, when they were younger, more cautious, maybe afraid.
“I love you” seemed woefully inadequate between them now. They were each other’s home.
Maura Hawke, 9:34 Dragon
With a confused smile towards her usually sullen friend, Maura accepted the Aggregio Fenris had extended to her. She took a light sip, letting the taste linger in her mouth. She'd never been particularly fond of wine, though joining the nobility had meant having to accept glasses filled to the brim with the stuff with a tacked-on smile constantly. But it was Fenris, the broodiest elf in Kirkwall offering, and she would take it if only for the novelty.
A quick thought flashed in her mind of how Mother would be clucking her tongue if she knew her daughter was drinking straight from the bottle like it held common ale. She chased the thought away with a longer, more drawn out swallow of the vintage.
"I thought you avoided talking about this?” she raised one brow, placing the bottle down on the table with a soft clunk.
Fenris gave her a rare smile, oddly warm and accommodating. "Not on special occasions. Do you want to hear it?”
If you'd told either one of them they would eventually come to call each other friends when they'd met, they both would have just laughed at the absurdity of the very notion, but here he was, fully ready to confide in her. A mage, of all people. She grinned as she sat opposite him. "I’ve got time."
Gabriel Lavellan, 9:41 Dragon
Gabriel could have sworn his alcohol tolerance had once been higher, but fatherhood seemed to have dulled that particular edge. He took only a brief swallow from the cup, careful not to bring himself over that precarious barrier into drunkenness (he did not need his daughters to see him in that sorry state, especially as their last sight of him before he left for what could be months), before passing the dandelion wine over to Fen’an.
She rolled her eyes at the weight of the still mostly-full cup in her hands before taking first a sip, then a gulping mouthful of the wine. Summer-sweet with a light sting, the Clan specialty. Sighing and leaning back, she looped an arm around his shoulders - made just a little awkward by their height difference. Gabriel had gotten taller than Deshanna when he was just thirteen, then taller than almost every other member in the Clan by the time he was sixteen. “Creators, I’ll miss you, Gabriel. I can’t believe Mamae is still going through with this.”
His stomach quietly churned at the thought of what lay ahead of him at the Conclave. But Deshanna was the Keeper, he was her First, and her word was his duty.
He could only give his best friend a half-smile. “I’ll miss you too, Fen.”