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The Griffon and the Raven, Chapter 27

Prompt: Hair
Note: I need to replay Varric's personal quest. I don't remember much, but I do remember not trusting Bianca from the get-go. I also know that feel when you've hurt your back/shoulder and how hard it is to do anything that involves raising your arm above your head.


The colorful oath and painful exclamation were Blackwall’s only warnings before a hairbrush sailed over the railing. It flew in an impressive arc before hitting the uppermost stair and then clattering down a few treads.

“Problems?” he asked, bending down to retrieve the offensive item before continuing up the stairs leading to Ravena’s chambers. He hoped that the sound of his voice would deter any other flying projectiles.

“No, I just felt like seeing how far I could throw the blasted thing.” Ravena sighed and sat on the sofa. She looked up at him as he rounded the landing newel and knew that he wasn’t buying it. “I can’t lift my right arm over my head.”

He sat down beside her. “I knew something was bothering you on the road. When did it happen?” He thought back to every encounter they had while underground in Valammar, trying to pinpoint just when he hadn’t been able to shield her from a blow.

She pointed a finger at him. “I know what you’re doing and no, this wasn’t your fault. Remember when we were fighting darkspawn and I jumped out of the way of the ogre? I wound up banging my shoulder into a stone column and I must have pulled something.” She shuddered. “There had been so many of them. It was no wonder you couldn’t sense them all.”

Blackwall cleared his throat. “Right. It’s a good thing that Dorian came with us to seal up the places the darkspawn were coming up from.” He reached over and rubbed his thumb over her shoulder. “But now you can’t lift your arm over your head.”

“Right.” It hasn’t seemed like much of an issue to begin with: adrenaline had dulled any pain she had felt, then later on the nagging soreness had been easy to ignore and deem too minor to waste a potion on. It wasn’t until they had gotten back to Skyhold and the weather had changed that she had really had a problem with mobility, the cold stiffening up already sore muscles to the point where any attempt to move past a certain range of motion caused her pain.

Get him killed, and I’ll feed you your own eyeballs. It was probably a good thing that her arm had been practically useless by then. If not otherwise, she would have dragged Bianca Davri up to her eye level by her hair and let the rogue have it. She had wanted to rip into her, not for giving away the source of red lyrium and inadvertently helping Corypheus, but for the way Ravena felt the woman had toyed with Varric’s affections. Love him or let him go, but don’t keep going on as you are, for both your sakes. Ravena had wanted to say that to Bianca so badly, but instead she had silently turned on her heel and followed after Varric. Her heart hurt for her friend, but she knew that he was an adult who could make his own decisions with his life. All that she could do was to be there for him if and when he needed her.

Blackwall’s gentle fingers brought her out of her thoughts. “And your brush bore the brunt of that frustration?”

“Well, it takes two hands to get the pins out of my hair. Since we got back so late, I really didn’t want to bother anyone. Everything else I could wiggle out of or take off without a problem, but my hair…”

He spared a glance to the floor around her bed, noticing that her boots, pants, and every other article of clothing she normally wore out in the field was strewn about haphazardly. “Ah. That explains the carnage.” He also eyed what she was currently wearing. “And that also explains where my shirt went off to. What else are you wearing underneath that?” The last was said with a leer as Blackwall leaned towards her, his eyes tracing over a tantalizing expanse of bare thigh peeking out from the hem of one of his older, more worn shirts.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she asked coyly, leaning in to bridge the gap between them for a drawn out kiss.

He stroked her jaw with his thumb. “I would indeed. But back to the matter at hand: I can help with that.” Reaching out, he started to pull out a long hairpin. Setting it on the side table nearest to him, he slid another one out, watching as her hair began to slowly unroll from the bun she normally wore it in. “You could use these as weapons,” he mused, looking at the pointed end of one.

“I have,” she agreed. “Bandits had taken up residence in a mine I was investigating and one of them was stupid enough to think I was unarmed. I came out missing one pin, but the bandit was minus an eye, so it evened out.”

He chuckled. “Remind me to never get on your bad side.” Taking a handful of her hair, he let it slip between his fingers before picking up her brush and carefully working out tangles.

She leaned closer to him. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

“I know; I want to.” They fell into a comfortable silence, the crackling of the fireplace the only sound in the room as he began to slowly brush out her hair. Ravena was almost asleep when she felt Blackwall’s fingers begin to press against her shoulder.

“Ow.”

“Looks like I found where you sprained yourself,” he muttered, his fingers spreading outward, his hands moving lower along her back. He tisked when she jumped. “Ravena, you have knots the likes I’ve never seen.” He stood up and went over to the closet next to her bed where he knew she kept a supply of liniment. Pulling the oversized neckline of the shirt over her shoulder, he winced in sympathy at the angry looking bruise that went from the curve of her right shoulder and all the way around to her shoulder blade. Taking care not to hurt her, he began to rub a generous amount of ointment across her skin.

She rolled her eyes at him throwing her words from several months ago back at her. “Where have I heard that before?” Hissing when he hit a sore spot, she shifted on the sofa to give him better access to her back.

“Probably from a very wise person. I’ve been neglectful – you make certain that everyone else in our party is well and yet I’ve never paid you the same courtesy.” With a few careful tugs, Blackwall pulled her shirt over her head, leaving her in only a pair of smallclothes. He ran his palms appreciatively over the small strip of lavender lace at her hip before sliding his hands back up, his thumbs working at her lower back where he’d often see her stretch uncomfortably after spending too many hours in a chair writing reports.

“That’s because I’m the resident Mother Hen and my job is to worry over everyone. Your job is to hit things with your shield, which you do quite well, I might add.” She hummed in contentment as his hands continued to rove, his fingers finding and releasing knots along the back of her neck. She quietly rotated her left shoulder as a hint to pay attention to that side of her body. He was a quick study, his touch soothing muscles that had ached for far too long. She sighed as the heat of his hands melted away all the lingering tension she held.

“It’s good to know that my talents aren’t wasted. Still, what sort of man doesn’t take care of his lady?”

She peered at him from over her shoulder. “One that’s appreciated for the many other things he does.” She winked at him. “If it makes you feel better, I give you full permission to use my body as you see fit.”

He groaned and pressed a kiss against the side of her throat. “Careful, Love. I have an active imagination.”

“As do I. Care to see what we can come up with?” She laughed when he tugged her onto his lap before standing up with her in his arms. He navigated the few strides towards her bed before gently placing her down.

“Oh my lady,” he murmured, his eyes warm as he twined his fingers in her hair, his weight a welcome bulk against her. “I can hardly wait.”

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