This started as a joke, but I think I might actually be enjoying myself. Damn that Sera. She is too clever for her own good.
Or she’s completely mad. Not sure which. Both, probably.
Dorian was sitting back on his haunches by his chair, sorting books out of a box. These were new volumes, fresh from Orzammar printing houses, a token gifted upon him by the Inquisitor. There were two more boxes just like it, sitting back against the wall, to give him space to sort everything out properly on his shelves.
History, biographies, a few books on myth and folklore across Thedas, and a great many novels holding nothing more than glorious, sorely missed, fiction. Short stories, series, a few stand alones.
“The work is too serious. Having a way to relax is essential.”
“If it’ll make you feel more at home, I have no problem with it. Can you get a list to Josephine of what you want?”
“Absolutely. What a dear you are.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Adaar grinned. “Flattery gets you everywhere, Dorian.”
He let out a satisfied sigh, brushing his hand across the cover of what looked to be a promising poetry collection. Poetry for the sake of poetry, not because it held some mighty secret. Excellent.
A knock on the wall startled him, and he jumped a bit before looking over his shoulder. ‘What an odd gaggle.’
Dorian stood, turning to face the mismatched group standing awkwardly by the stairs.
By all reasoning, these were people who may have had to work together, on the rare occasion, but who otherwise would never be seen in one another’s company. And not even for mutual hatred, but simply by the means of having so little in common it was impossible to fathom what would ever bring them together.
Cassandra was at the lead of the group, standing stiffly but proudly, looking down her nose with slight derision at Dorian. Next to her was Krem, recipient of The Iron Bull’s most unfortunate nickname, who looked completely out of place in a library. He was accompanied by two others from Bull’s merry band - Dalish and Stiches - who were standing right behind Krem but away from the other players of this tragedy. Scout Harding, who Dorian often greeted on his way into the tavern and whom he had most enjoyed assisting with dancing lessons, was also in tow.
“To what do I owe the … pleasure?” Dorian raised an eyebrow at them.
“This was the time on the flier, was it not?” Cassandra said, frowning at Dorian.
Harding held out a piece of paper towards Dorian, explaining as he took it. “It was hanging up in the tavern, my lord. Where all the other adverts hang.”
Let’s start a classy book club and read them together, because it’s much smarter than us laying around or something. Find a copy of Hard in Hightown because they are fucking everywhere and meet up by my fancy library chair …
“Damn you Sera,” Dorian whispered between gritted teeth. “Bested yet again.” He wadded up the paper and put it into a pocket as evidence. “I’m so sorry, all of you, but there appears to be a misunderstanding. There is no ‘books club’ today.”
“Not read it yet, then?” Krem noted, raising a suggestive eyebrow. “I knew the chief had been keeping you busy but,” he raised his own copy of Varric’s little law procedural, “this isn’t that long.”
“The ‘chief’ has nothing to do with this,” Dorian answered shortly. “I’m afraid there just is no book club. At all. Enthusiasm for the arts is excellent, please see to it on your own, that’s a good lad, turn around, yes, there you go…”
No one was moving.
Dorian started at them.
“Tevinter, the least you could do after the Inquisitor went through the effort of filling your bookcase is follow through with something that would be helpful.”
“Cassandra, could you possibly be slightly more droll?” Dorian rolled his eyes, crossed his arms, and fixed the group with a get-the-fuck-out stare (individually and as a whole, it was a gift if you practiced it enough).
“Aww, come on, pretty boy. Can’t we just sit around and talk or something?” Krem said, grinning lopsidedly at him. “We’re all up here. I think even Grim read the book, didn’t know he had it in him. He didn’t come, because… well, talking definitely isn’t in him.”
The group shuffled. Awkwardly. As a whole.
“Maker’s breath, fine, just.. go find some chairs, pull them over here then. No - no! You are not sitting there, that is my chair.”
It took them fifteen minutes, but before he knew what was happening, Cassandra was leading the group in a discussion of how the six crossed swords imagery parallels that of existing groups.
Dorian sighed, a hand on his chin as he listened. ‘Well. It could be worse - ‘
“Ah, damn, am I late? Did we start already?” The Iron Bull entered from the ramparts, Grim, Rocky, and Skinner in tow.
“No, chief, just gotten started.” Krem was already scooting his chair over to make room.
“Ah good! Don’t want to miss this.”