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Heart's Day

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Heart’s Day is a reprieve. A breath of fresh air. A reassuring moment of looking back and drawing a steadying sigh of relief because you see that the person you care about is still behind you, still there to catch you if you stumble and fall.

Even if it does not entail a grand celebration, a candlelit dinner followed by passionate love making on a broad bed strewn with rose petals, till the first pale hours of the morning. Because there is not always time for that when you are saving the world.

Even if the day is marked by nothing more elaborate than a tall glass of clear, magically cooled water on Cullen’s nightstand, left there by a caring hand for him to drink, the soothing freshness serving as reprieve for his headache. A first step to brace himself for a new day of working, of fighting, of doing better.

Or a fresh coat of paint on Cassandra’s shield, glinting bright and happy in the slanting light rays of the armoury, with the heart pattern emphasized boldly along the outlines of her cuirass - so that she can wear it proudly, boldly, without a slightest sign of faltering in the battle to come.

Or a temptingly glistening chocolate egg placed on Josephine’s desk, peeking out of the cozy nest of its slightly crumpled gilded wrapper - large, the size of a fown, because there is a little doll hidden away inside; a pleasant surprise, an innocent indulgence to bring a smile to her face after a tedious day of unravelling the tangled threads of court intrigue.

Or an enthusiastic smile at Blackwall over the heads of the boisterious flock of children, who are leaping up and down, brandishing their toy swords and shields and figurines of fantastical animals (still vividly orange in places, from bring carved just recently), and bombarding the ‘Hewwawd of Andwas-tee’ with a thousand upon thousand questions and pleas to play, while the grizzled warrior looks on, smiling hesitantly into his beard, his eyes moist, almost overflowing with the fullness of his heart.

Or a rude word scratched into the battlements, intended for the quick, keen eyes of Sera, who will be surr to see the profanity when she shuffles by, shaking her head in confusion at some of the 'weird shite’ that she has gotten herself into; and will be sure to grin to herself at the familiar handwriting, and toss her head up, uneven bangs flying on either side of her face, and race off, snorting, once again certain and clear-minded, ready to kick any and every arse her lady points her at.

Or a simple touch upon Bull’s elbow - the highest most people can reach - as he turns his back on the smoking battlefield, out of breath, almost worn to the limit by harnessing his bloody rage to destroy yet another wave of monsters; with sweat and gore running in sticky rivulets along his straining venous throat. A simple touch - yet enough to ground him, to anchor him (he will be telling that pun to an exasperated Krem), to remind him that he is still here, still himself, still ready to show 'em what he and that his kadan are capable of.

Or a sheet of paper, slipped on the sly between the pages of a book Dorian has been reading - scrawled over with the most impossibly sappy poetry of the Lord Inquisitor’s own composition; full of saccharine cliches like comparisons of eyes to jewels and celestial bodies and what have you, and over-the-top descriptions of how one’s heart flutters when the object of one’s affection enters the room. Truly, the manner of drivel that Dorian would scoff at - and yet… And yet, he has always been given to understand that such poetry, fumbling and youthfully awkward, is not meant for the likes of him; that his domain is that of sinful desire and the anguish of guilt, and not something as pure and carefree as watching the stars and holding hands and gazing into your lover’s face. So he does not scoff - and instead folds the little missive carefully and tucks it inside his robe, close to his chest.

Or a swirling brushstroke, added overnight to one of Solas' frescoes - a sudden flesh splash to lighten up the overall sombre, dark-shaded theme; just as his unexpected mortal friend, his beautiful vhenan, lightens the burden of walking through a warped, suffering world of his own creation. Solas spends a long time tracing that drawing with his fingertips, his eyes half-closed, and wistful smile on his lips - and when he finally tears away, he has already completely succumbed to the temptation of basking in his vhenan’s love, doomed as it is, for a little while longer.

Heart’s Day is a reprieve. A breath of fresh air. A reassuring moment of looking back on the Inquisitor and sensing your worries, your daily drudgery, your hidden fears release you, for the time being, just at the mere sight of their face, the mere thought of them.

Even when the Inquisitor shares a gentle gesture of affection with someone not from their immediate inner circle of companions - but someone very dear to them nonetheless. Even when it’s Harding, sniffing at the dainty sunlight-yellow flower tucked into her pack by that lovely soul who has so often offers to keep her company on her arduous missions - and then weaving it into her hair, and setting off to scout trails and shoot at bad guys wbile looking as pretty as the Inquisitor makes her feel.

Even when it’s Krem, crossing blades with the boss in a friendly spar, and then clasping their fingers in a firm handshake, laughing the loudest he had in months at some joke of theirs - not because it’s particularly witty (Maker knows Bull has made him immune to, eh, some types of humour) but because it has suddenly hit him that he has never… belonged anywhere so much before.

Even when it’s Barris, standing on ceremony in front of a new leader, eyes turned heavenward as they should when a Templar is taking a vow in the name of Andraste - and then, chancing to look down, at Her great Herald’s face, and seeing not a commander but a friend. Warm and kind and welcoming.

Even when it’s Rylen, standing on a parapet of his outpost, his hand shielding his eyes from the lashes of the scorching wind, and scanning the pallid desert sky for any sign of a raven bearing news from his Inquisitor - any news at all. For even the carelessly drawn smiling face at the end of an official missive will be enough for him to crack a smile of his own.

Even when it’s Abelas, aloof and out of place in his ancient burning-gold armour, watching the Inquisitor from afar, the haze of despondent weariness lifting slowly from his gaze, as he begins to wonder if he might serve a new purpose, by the side of this odd child of a new world who has touched something within him he did not know still lived on.

Even when the light of the Inquisitor’s smile, the beckoning call of their voice reaches the darkest corners of Skyhold’s dungeons, reaching those who worked against the Inquisition but were allowed to live.

From the lonely and broken Tevinter magister who smiles faintly, puzzled by his own capacity to do so, as he traces his finger along the 'research’ instructions, knowing that the letters where the cursive slants in a different direction spell out an encouraging message for him - a promise of a secret meeting, away from the prying eyes of Leliana’s agents, a few minutes of blissful solace shared with his former enemy. To the tormented red templar, who gets forcibly pulled out into the open, where the sun is so gentle on his warmth-starved skin, and the mountain breathe is sweet like young wine, and is given to understand that he is free to breathe, to rest, to heal.

Even then, it is still Heart’s Day.

Heart’s Day is a reprieve. A breath of fresh air. A reassuring moment that brings you ever closer to falling hopelessly in love with the one who has sheltered you, and understood your pain, and offered you forgiveness, and embraced you the way you are.

Heart’s Day happens every day.