"Damned ball… Curse Orlais and their damned war…" Dorian muttered under his breath, unable to concentrate on the book in front of him. The ball at Halamshiral was just a couple of weeks away and Dorian had been dreading it since the Inquisitor had decided he was going. Of course, he tried his best not to let anyone else know this. He was a firm believer in "fake it till you make it".
What Dorian was not good at faking was dancing. Growing up as an Altus in Tevinter, Dorian was accustomed to being dragged by his mother to far too many awful parties. He was just too busy sneaking away from the awful parties to practice up on his ballroom dancing.
Dorian could hear his mother's scolding voice now, reprimanding him for his many escapes and how poorly they reflected on her socially.
Dorian slammed the tome shut and stuffed it back into the shelf. He decided he needed a drink and marched off towards the tavern.
Being the middle of the day, the tavern was almost peaceful with only a few people around. He grabbed a tankard of some ale that tasted the least like piss, and headed towards the seat in the back where his Amatus would usually occupy. Slamming his body down in Bull's chair, grabbing his forehead to dull the stress-induced ache, and taking a large gulp of the drink, Dorian sighed.
"Alright, what's wrong with you, Altus? Is it 'cause Chief isn't here to listen to you whine?" Cremisius Aclassi, Bull's second-in-command pulled his chair closer to the mage.
"No, no, though I do love an audience when I start my whining, especially about Emprise du lion and my frozen toes. But, no, I'm afraid it's nothing like that this time…"
"Well, now I'm curious, what's wrong?" Krem was sure he was going to regret asking. Curse his curious nature! But, honestly, the Altus looked miserable! Couldn't have the Chief coming back to see his… person in such a state, could he? Not that he cared about the mage or anything like that.
Alcohol made Dorian's lips loose, "it's the ball. Stupid Orlais and their idiotic war and their dancing and their…" taking another large gulp of the drink and grimaced. It was starting to taste more and more like piss the more he drank of it.
"I'm sure one party isn't going to kill you. Aren't Altus suppose to be experts at fancy parties? Should be a second language to you. Well, that and blood magic." Krem got a chuckle out of the slightly drunk man, making him look slightly less miserable.
"If by expert, you mean expert at sneaking out of them, then sure. Plus, it has been years since then and since my mother last dragged me by the ear to one of her soirees…" Dorian set the tankard aside and sat up straighter, giving Krem his full attention. This was one of the few times that the mercenary had willingly talked to him, and without Bull to facilitate nonetheless. Dorian was trying to get along more with the Chargers, spend time with him, and seemed to be making progress with most of them. Except Cremisius. It wasn't that Krem had gone out of his way to be rude to him, but, rather, he went out of his way to try and avoid conversation with him. Dorian wanted to get along with the Chargers, for the sake of his Amatus, who was basically the parent to this ragtag bunch of mercs. Not that Dorian could blame Krem. With them coming from different social classes, it was as if they came from completely different worlds instead of the same country. They had little in common. Though, some could argue, an Altus mage and a Qunari had very little in common too.
"I mean, I'm sure one fancy party won't kill you though. Give you an excuse to look good for the Chief,"
"I always look good, Cremisius. It's the dancing I'm more worried about."
"Dancing? What? You should know how to dance!"
"Knowing how and knowing how to well are different. I'm worried that I'll make a fool of myself. Even I cannot brush aside the seriousness of this and making good impressions is half the battle."
Krem sighed, setting aside his own tankard, grabbed Dorian and pulled him up and beckoned him to follow. Krem could fix this. He'd swear the Altus to secrecy afterwards. They weaved their way through parts of the less crowded and occupied parts of Skyhold.
"Ok, let's try it again and try not to step on my toes this time, ok?"
Step, step, step. Krem's hand on his waist, leading him in the dance. "Don't look down," he reminded himself. Krem told him looking down meant you were thinking about it too hard and that meant you were going to mess up more. Besides, eye contact was just good manners.
"I really am trying…"
"Well, at least you're better than you were a couple hours ago."
Step, step, step. Spin. Dip.
"Hey, you did good that round! You might actually be halfway decent by the time we get to Halamshiral."
Step. Step. Step. Spin.
"By the way, if you tell anyone about this, I will kill you, Altus."
"Noted. My lips are sealed. Now, show me the steps once more, then I want to try leading."