pariswriter: (Default)
Title:  Snowed In
Author:  ParisWriter
Game:  Dragon Age: Origins
Summary:  Esme Cousland is forced to take care of her idiot best friend when they find themselves trapped in an abandoned house during a snowstorm.
Rating:  K/G
Characters:  Esme Cousland; Ser Roland Gilmore
Disclaimer:  Ser Gilmore from the Dragon Age series ©BioWare. Esme belongs to me.

Snowed In

Esme sighed heavily as she tended to the fire, poking at it with a long stick to stir the embers before adding another log. The wind continued to howl outside, and she cast a furtive glance up at the old roof over their heads, hoping it would hold out through the remainder of the storm. What had started out as a mere sprinkling of snowflakes had quickly turned into a blizzard, and they had been lucky to find the abandoned farmhouse as quickly as they did. They'd be even luckier if it didn't collapse on them, however.

"You d-do realize that y-your f-father is g-going to k-kill you when we-we g-g-get back, right?"

Esme rolled her eyes as another sigh escaped her lips and turned she in her crouching position by the old fireplace – the one part of the house that had been sturdily built – to look at the man who had addressed her. Ser Roland Gilmore, honored knight of Highever in the service of Teryn Bryce Cousland – and her best friend since she was thirteen years old – had once more taken it upon himself to chase after her when she took off in her latest fit.

"No one told you to come looking for me, Rory," she admonished him, taking in his appearance. He'd obviously been in a rush when he left the castle to search for her. He'd forgotten half his armor, and didn't bother bringing a cloak even though it was the coldest season of the year and had nearly been nightfall when he left. He was always like that when it came to her, it seemed. He'd act without thinking half the time, running after her when she decided she'd had enough of the life of a nobleman's daughter despite the fact that everyone in the castle knew by now she would be just fine on her own and make it back in a day or two.

"I ammm re-responsi-sible to the Terrryn's family," Roland told her, his words becoming more and more badly slurred as he sat shivering on a chair next to the long-abandoned kitchen's table. "It is my du-duty to ensssure your-your ssssafety."

Esme had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at him. His teeth were chattering audibly – reminding her of the clacking sounds she heard coming from the fangs of some of the larger spiders she had killed on one of her previous adventures – and the snow melting in his red hair had caused it to start to curl. He was huddled in on himself, as if that would actually help him regain some warmth in his body while he was still wearing his soaking wet clothes, and he looked to her more like a little boy than the grown man he was.

"Take off your clothes," she ordered as she stood, smoothing out the leather breeches on her legs before crossing the room to were he was sitting. He looked up to her with wide, almost frightened blue eyes.

"Ex-excuse me?"

"You need to get out of those wet clothes before you end up with a fever," she informed him, reaching out to assist him in removing them even as she spoke. Roland slapped and swatted at her hands, once more acting like a child, and Esme's palm just barely brushed against his forehead. It was enough, though. She could already feel the heat emanating from his skin.

"Maker's breath, you already have a fever, Roland!" she scolded. "Don't tell me you were ill when you left the castle to look for me?"

"I h-had to do my-my d-d-duty," he repeated, and Esme once more attempted to get the sopping garments off his body. This time when he fought back, however, he found a dagger pressed to his throat, just above the collar of his shirt.

"Take them off, Roland, or I will cut them off, and then you can explain to my father why you returned to the castle naked," she threatened, her teal eyes boring into his, hard and unwavering. He finally agreed to remove his clothes, though he insisted his smallclothes remain on for his own modesty and to preserve at least some sense of propriety between the two of them. Esme searched through a couple of chests which had been left behind by the house's previous occupants – curiously remarking a couple of marks in the headboard of one of the beds which appeared to have been made by someone nailing something to it – and eventually dug up some furs and a blanket he could cover himself with.

After a few hours, Roland was no longer shivering and his clothes were nearly dry by the fireplace. The storm sounded as though it had just about passed, and Esme had managed to scrounge together enough edible items from the cupboards to put together a stew of sorts for them to eat. While the previous tenants of the house had left a good deal of things behind, though, it seemed the only piece of silverware they been willing to part with was the head of a fork. But, oddly enough, Esme also located a paintbrush among the discarded items littered around the house and so she pulled out several of ler long, dark brown hairs to fasten the broken fork to its handle. She and Roland then shared the makeshift utensil and quietly ate together, but she knew that as soon as there was no more food to fill his mouth with, the inevitable question would come.

"So," he began, getting up from the chair to retrieve his clothes once they had finished eating, and Esme felt the dreaded question coming on even before it left his mouth with his next breath.

"Why did you run away this time?"
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