andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Andraste ([personal profile] andraste) wrote2015-07-07 12:46 am

Dragon Age Ficlet: Lost Horizons

Rating: G

Warnings: None, unless you have a deathly allergy to female dwarves.

Word count: Circa. 850

Summary: When Harding met Dagna.

Author's Note: This is actually a teaser for something longer, so not posting to AO3 yet.

See, I saw a Dagna/Harding prompt on [community profile] areyougame and anime hearts appeared in my eyes as I said 'THAT WOULD BE THE MOST ADORABLE THING EVER.' I figured I could easily knock out a drabble or ficlet in the week and a half I had to produce something. Only then I started, and after a few days I had three thousand words of dwarf femslash that showed no signs of being done. It had even developed something with a suspicious resemblance to an actual plot. Anyway, it became obvious that there was no way I was going to get it finished, edited and betaed by July 6th when I was meant to be posting.

So here is the first bit! I am going to try to finish the rest by the end of the month, but I think this stands up fine on its own as a scene from life at Skyhold. It is not actually very slashy yet, alas.

It's hard not to notice Dagna. Even though she's the tiniest person in an organisation that has more than its share of dwarves, she manages to take up a lot of space. Lace only comes to Skyhold to collect supplies and new personnel, but she still hears all the crazy stories, and a couple of times she sees her from a distance across the courtyard. They've never meet, though, until Dagna finds her in the tavern one day.

"Hello! You're Scout Harding, yes? Well, you must be, how many dwarf scouts do we have?"

"Seven, actually," Lace says. Of course, five of them are male and the other woman is a blonde, so people don't usually get her mixed up with them. Everyone knows she was first, anyway.

Dagna only pauses for a moment. "Wow. That's a lot more than I thought. I keep forgetting how big everything is getting!"

"To answer your question, though: yes, I am Harding. You must be Dagna."

Dagna smiles. "That's right. Still only one Arcanist in the whole Inquisition. In the whole of southern Thedas, probably. Anyway, I was wondering if you could help me with something?"

Lace has heard about the time Dagna almost burned down the stables, and about the incident in the wine cellar. This is probably a bad idea.

"Well, that depends. What do you need help with?"

"I need an archer, and everyone says you're the best. Well, the best along with Sera and Varric, of course."

"Is there a reason you're asking me instead of them?" Varric was off to Val Royeux with Cadash the last time she saw him, but Sera is probably upstairs somewhere.

"Oh, Sera's great fun and all, but she won't let me go near her bow for some reaon. As for Bianca, well, forget that. I'd have to prise her out of Varric's cold, dead hands and obviously I wouldn't be willing to kill him just to get hold of his crossbow ..." Dagna stops and coughs awkwardly. "Anyway, I really need someone who can hit a target on command, and since you're at Skyhold for once, I thought I'd ask."

"Of course. If it helps the Inquisition, I'd be happy to fire off a few arrows for you."

Dagna leads her down to the Undercroft. Lace hadn't actually had a reason to go down here before. The light isn't the best for archery, but it doesn't look like the target will be far away. There's not a lot of room down here as it is.

"See, I'm trying out some new applications for runes. There must be more we can do with them than just making arrows catch fire or freeze. If I'm right, this should make you hit harder."

Lace tests the unfamiliar bow that Dagna hands her. It's dwarf-sized, and she wonders how long this ambush has been planned. The lyrium inlay looks unfamiliar, but then, she doesn't know anything about runes anyway.

"If you could just hit that target over there," Dagna says, "as close to the middle as possible? I want to see how far it goes in." The wooden circle is hanging in front of what seems to be a sack of turnips. Lace wonders if the kitchen is going to miss those any time soon.

It's an easy shot. The arrow hits dead centre, and goes straight through and into the turnip sack - which would be perfect if it stopped there, rather than going straight through that and then shattering several vials of liquid sitting on the table behind it, before it hits the Undercroft wall. The wall stops it, but now there's a giant crack in the masonry.

"Uh. I guess it worked?" she says, to break the shocked silence.

Dagna looked somewhere between dismayed and delighted. "Oh, boy. Harritt is not going to be happy with me."

Lace peers up at the ceiling. "I hope that's not a lode-bearing wall."

"I wouldn't worry about that. I'm not sure what keeps Skyhold up, but I don't think it's actually the stonework. Probably some kind of magic we don't understand. I'd love to take a few walls out and test the theory, but Josephine said no."

Lace wonders whether Dagna has any idea exactly how alarming she is.

"Maybe Gatsi can fix the wall before anyone else notices. Do you want me to go and find him for you?" Dagna is peering intently at the arrow, but she turns around to smile at Lace.

"That would be wonderful - he's usually in the Great Hall if he's not out supervising a job, so if you could send him down that would be perfect. Thank you so much! I'm sure I just need to adjust the lyrium levels and give it a little less oomph ..."

"Well, let me know if you need help again when I'm here," Lace says. It's an insane thing to say - what if the next bow explodes in her face? - but she can't help feeling curious about what Dagna will do next.

"I'll let you know if I need anything!"

Gatsi just sighs and shakes his head when Lace explains what happened, and she gets the impression that he's been through this before.