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Title:  Portraiture
Fandom: Dragon Age
Rating: G
Length: 4 x 200 words
Content notes: No warnings apply.
Author notes: Written for the ‘self-portrait’ prompt in fan_flashworks.
Summary:  Four double drabbles: Sara, Merrill, Isabela and Aveline get ready to leave for Wicked Grace night.

When the evening bell tolled, Sara was standing in front of the library shelves trying to look – what?  Imposing?  Noble?  Thoughtful?  She wasn’t sure, much to the annoyance of Serah Ricardo who was attempting to capture her constantly shifting likeness.

“If you will not hold still, Serah Hawke, we will not be done until Wintersend!” He waved the end of the paintbrush in her direction.  Sara restrained a sigh, and tried to mould her face back into whatever expression it had previously had.

“A little more of a smile,” said the artist, “No, that’s too much.  You are the Amell scion!  Try to convey the dignity-”

“Oh, can’t you just make that up?” Sara grumbled, before they were interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Hawke?  Are you coming?”

“Fenris!” she cried, turning away to the muttered expletive of the artist.  “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“If I’m interrupting-”

“No,” Sara said quickly.  “I apologise, Serah Ricardo, but urgent business takes me away.”

“Your Mother-” the artist started, but Sara grabbed Fenris’s arm and marched him out of the house.

“Thanks for the rescue,” she said as they walked to the Hanged Man.  “Thought I’d never make Wicked Grace night.”

~*~

When the evening bell tolled, Merrill was sitting cross legged on the floor, the shards spread out on a mat before her.   Despite the time she had spent on it, only the bottom corner of the heavily ornate frame was filled, and she restrained a sigh as she picked through the razor-sharp edges with nimble fingers.  When she caught herself on one of the corners and blood began to well, the mirrored pieces seemed to drink it in, her fractured reflection briefly bathed in crimson before resuming its silvery tones.  Merrill frowned, and stuck her finger in her mouth, idly sucking at the coppery tang as she peered at the maddening jigsaw puzzle in front of her.  She should go, yet there was a likely piece lying just on the other side of the mat.  Reaching out, she grasped it carefully and turned it in her hand until the edges –yes, they lined up.  Placing the piece carefully into the frame with the others, she took her hands away and watched as the mirror surface flowed over the break mending it entirely.  With a smile, she stood and left her partially healed reflection for the company of the Hanged Man.

~*~

When the evening bell tolled, Isabela looked at herself in the mirror and gave her hair a toss.  Tying on her blue bandana, she picked up the heavy earrings – gold-plated copper – and clasped them to her ears.  The necklace followed, fastening around her throat like a sleeve, and she searched through her make-up box to find the powders and unguents with which she anointed herself each day.  Opening a small bottle of kohl, she dipped the small wooden stick into the powder and smoothly drew a line across her upper and lower lids, following the same procedure for her second eye.  Her lips she touched up with an unguent of beeswax and carmine and she dusted her cheeks with a dark red ochre powder.

“Why do you do all that?” asked the woman in her bed.  “Do you want the attention of all them filthy men downstairs?”

Isabela turned to look at Nora.  “Some of them,” she admitted.  “Especially when my friends arrive.”  She turned back and added a dab more to her lips.  “But I don’t know who I’d be without it.”

“The attention or the paint?”

“Both.”  She smiled into the mirror, and went to meet her friends.

~*~

When the evening bell tolled, Aveline listened expectantly.  Ah, there were the boots of the returning patrol – right on time.  Aveline did not need to wait for the official reports, she could tell the condition of her guards by the sound of the barracks.  Tonight, there was only laughter and gossip in the common room and Aveline smiled.  She glanced at the pile of paperwork on her desk, then the dwarven waterclock, and sighed.  She should keep working, but she’d hear about it from Hawke if she didn’t present for Wicked Grace.  She pushed the chair back and stood to leave when a knock sounded at the door.

“Yes?” she called out, trying to keep annoyance from her tone.

“Captain,” came a familiar voice, and Aveline’s stiff back softened.

“Come in Guardsman,” she said, remaining standing as Donnic entered the room.

“I- uh,” Donnic hesitated before pulling his shoulders back, “wondered if you might like to go for a drink, Ser.”

“I have to meet my friends,” Aveline said without thinking.

Donnic nodded and turned to leave.

“No, wait-” she said, arresting him.  “Maybe – you could join us?”

“I would like that Ser,” he said, and Aveline smiled in response.

 

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