I was a bit bored so I put out a call for silly ideas... mousestalker at BSN suggested: "Alistair overhears the Warden discuss Zevran's skill in tying knots in cherry stems. He tries to learn it solo. Laughs ensue." It should be no surprise which of my Wardens was all over that. XDA Marketable SkillAuthor: jenovaWord Count:
Just some naughty implications, but nothing bad at all. XD
From the corner of his eye, Devin had seen Alistair surreptitiously toss some small thing into the campfire three times so far. His curiosity finally piqued enough to draw him from the text on glyphs he was reading, he turned to his fellow Warden and raised an eyebrow in query.
"Oh. Er." Alistair flushed slightly under the sudden scrutiny, which was interesting,
given that Devin hadn't even said anything yet.
"What are you up to?" the mage asked lightly, keeping any innuendo out of his voice for the moment.
"Nothing, really." At Devin's expression of amused disbelief, he added, "Well... trying to work something out, I suppose."
"Oh? Like what?" Devin took the opportunity to rise from his seat and move closer to Alistair, trying to spot whatever it was the other man might have been tossing into the fire, assuming they hadn't simply been twigs.
"Erm... Well..." Alistair rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "I heard Bella — you know, from the tavern in Redcliffe? — say something about you being able to tie a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue, and er..."
It was incredibly difficult for the mage to keep a straight face at that point, but somehow, he managed. "And you were trying to figure out how to do it?"
"Yes," the other Warden admitted, holding out a small canvas bag of dark purple cherries. "I mean, it doesn't seem like it'd be impossible..."
Of course, Devin had never actually demonstrated such a trick to Bella; she might have been referring to his kissing, or just guessing at his skills. Not that she was wrong
... "Oh, it's certainly possible," he assured Alistair, unable to entirely restrain a grin, "it just takes a lot of practice. Here."
He found a cherry with a usable stem and pulled it free, setting the fruit aside for a moment as he worked. It was difficult to make the act itself particularly alluring; he could only wonder if Alistair had picked up the nuance yet. He would eventually, Devin was sure, but he would have liked to have seen the look of realization on the Templar trainee's face...
In a few moments, he was done, and he stuck out his tongue slowly, displaying the knotted stem. Alistair's wide-eyed expression was definitely worth the effort.
"There," Devin said as he plucked the stem from his tongue and twirled one end between his finger and thumb, "not impossible at all, see?"
"That must be great at parties," Alistair noted dryly. He still hadn't seemed to catch on to the implications, much to Devin's disappointment.
"You've no idea," the mage replied with a broad smirk. He hadn't learned the trick for parties, per se, but it was the sort of thing that had greatly amused the enchanters he'd dallied with as an apprentice in the Tower.
"Just a matter of practice, huh?" The other Warden pulled another stem and looked at it thoughtfully. "There's no special trick to it, is there?" he asked a little suspiciously.
"No, no hidden tricks or anything." Unable to help himself, Devin leaned in closer, just enough to make Alistair nervous. "I could give you a few pointers on technique, though, if you'd like..."
That finally seemed to get through to the Templar, and he blushed to the roots of his hair. "Er, no thanks, I think I'll, uh, manage," he stammered, leaning away from the grinning mage.
"Oh-ho!" Quite suddenly, Zevran sat down on Alistair's other side, momentarily trapping the man. "And what do we have here? Cherry stems? Why, friend Alistair, I did not realize you had these sorts of skills," the elf said with a wicked grin.
"I don't," Alistair said firmly, still looking flustered.
"No? A pity. It is never too late to learn, though," Zevran said encouragingly, one hand on the warrior's shoulder in a friendly fashion. He met Devin's glance and grinned wolfishly. "Now you, on the other hand, encantador...
" Devin smirked and held up his tied stem, earning an amused chuckle from the assassin. "As I expected. But can you tie two
knots in the same stem?"
"I take it you can?" the mage asked, then laughed when Zevran nodded in confirmation. "Why am I not surprised?" he asked rhetorically. "No, I don't know that trick — not yet, anyway. If you have any advice, though..."
"Oh, I can think of one good tip I could give you," the elf said airily, with a very slight emphasis on tip.
Devin choked back a laugh, drawing a slightly suspicious look from Alistair, who seemed oblivious to Zevran's meaning. Well, perhaps he'd figure it out later. For now, though... "Hmm, I am
always happy to learn new things," he said with a grin. He snitched a couple of cherries and rose to his feet, tucking his book under his arm. "Why don't we go work on that?"
"Wait, where—" Alistair began.
"Practice makes perfect," the mage reminded him, gesturing at the heap of cherries. "Get to it."
He and Zevran shared a quiet laugh as they drew away from the fire. "Do you think he will eventually get the hang of it?" the elf asked musingly.
"If he does..." Devin sighed wistfully. Not that it was likely he'd ever get to sample that particular expertise firsthand, but it was a pleasant enough thought. Zevran only chuckled appreciatively in reply.