The Masks We Wear
"Did you see what Oriane was wearing the other day? I can't believe she would walk out of her house dressed like that!"
"I know! It's like she doesn't even own a mirror!"
"Perhaps she doesn't, I've heard that her father has lost a lot of money recently. It could be he had to sell all of them," Arielle giggled demurely, despite her harsh words. "Nevertheless, we will hopefully see much less of her soon."
"Oh, Arielle," Céline chastised, though she was smiling. "You're so mean!"
Arielle shrugged, flipping her long, lustrous locks over one shoulder in a movement that looked so natural and effortless that it had to have been practiced many a time. "I'm just being honest."
Céline shook her head good-naturedly, pretending to be affronted, at least for appearances' sake.
"Oh, isn't that Anarys over there?" Céline pointed and her friend turned to look.
"It is!" the Nightborne cried. "Stop pointing, Céline, it's rude."
Arielle pranced over the walkway that was just one of many that stretched across the numerous canals in Suramar and intercepted Anarys Lunastre just before she managed to run off towards the Evermoon Commons.
"I haven't seen you in forever! Where have you been?" she cried excitedly, tightly grasping her friend's arm.
Anarys looked startled at being accosted by the slim elf and her gaze darted between Arielle and Céline with a confused look on her delicate face. This didn't deter the Nightborne, and she continued to speak.
"I bet Ly'leth wouldn't let you set foot outside now that she's Advisor to Elisande. Honestly, is she worried you'll ruin her reputation?"
"Preposterous!" Céline exclaimed before lowering her voice to a whisper. "I've heard rumors that she's been seen running around with Outlanders. Can you imagine?"
Arielle huffed and turned her stare on Anarys again.
"What is that smell? Is it a new perfume?"
The youngest Lunastre hesitated for a short moment before nodding enthusiastically.
"Oh, I like it! It's very earthy and… musky," Céline cooed and her friend was quick to agree. "What is it called?"
"It's… uh… Eau de Zandalar," Anarys murmured.
"How exotic!" Arielle giggled. "Perhaps I could borrow some for the next gala? I've done everything to get Émeric to notice me and he doesn't even realize I exist!"
She pouted, knowing that it enhanced her full lips and high cheekbones and it drew the attention of the pair of guards who passed them. Arielle smiled demurely and cast them a wink before turning back to her two friends.
"See! It works on everyone else," she whined.
"Maybe he's not interested," Anarys pointed out.
She was merely making a suggestion and wasn't trying to sound unkind, but Arielle gasped and clutched her arm tighter.
"I've heard about this new diet where you ingest nothing but arcwine and you're guaranteed lose so much weight. I think about trying it, and maybe Émeric will appreciate me then."
Céline nodded enthusiastically but Anarys shook her head with a frown.
"You should just eat and live the way you want. If he doesn't notice you, then that's his loss. I'm willing to bet there are countless others in the world who would love you for who you are. Don't try to change that," Anarys said.
The youngest Lunastre smiled at the shocked looks on her friends' faces and turned towards the Evermoon Commons again.
"I have to leave now, but think about what I said."
Céline waved half-heartedly before turning to Arielle. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine. It just isn't like Anarys to be so… so…"
"…nice?" Céline finished and Arielle nodded. "Still, she has a point."
"Yeah, of course she does. I mean, she's Anarys Lunastre! She practically creates every trend in Suramar."
The two elves stood silent for a moment, staring towards the Commons where their friend had rushed off.
"Speaking of which, where do you suppose we find a large orange bird to wear atop our heads?"
A/N: I know that Anarys is always the same gender as the player character, but I really needed her to be female for this to work properly.
Also, I had originally imagined this only as a tale of origin of the new Pepe-trend among the Nightborne, but Zenji turned out to be a bro by telling Anarys' friends to believe in themselves and not just to settle for guys who don't appreciate them.
I ship it now. Dammit.