Solas looked up at the mural that he had just completed and nodded, pleased by the outcome. Lines of dark shadow collided with warm tones of red and gold with wolves on either side of the Inquisition’s eye and its wreath of flames. He was sure Tarl would enjoy this piece but he still had a few more in mind, for the other mage’s story was far from done. Once he was sure he hadn’t missed anything he glanced down at his arms and grimaced. Quickly, the elf moved to the bucket of water and rinsed the paint and plaster from his hands and arms so that he could pull his sleeves down again and cover what he would prefer not to be seen.
The back of his fingers scraped over the raise of scars that were faded with time, but still clearly visible, as the fabric was pulled back in place. The ones on his wrists and forearms were probably the easiest to identify, circular marks that wrapped around each from manacles that had once dug and burned into his skin. Further up his arms were marks from where his armor or barriers couldn’t catch a blade or where a spell had managed to burn through both. Truth be told, it was the only reason he had yet to take the Inquisitor and his lover up on their numerous offers. Tarl and Bull had been lovers for some time now, but Tarl had never made a secret of his continued interest in Solas. He was not sure what had changed, but some time after Bull had left the Qun, the tal-vashoth had also taken up flirting with Solas shamelessly. But flirting that involved chess matches and various other mental exercises, and that made their herald roll his eyes as they bickered away, were welcome. However, that was as far as he was willing to let them go at this time.
The event from a few days ago jumped to mind. Bull had followed him after one of the war room meetings that had been called to discuss strategies against orlesian spies sent by one too many nobles getting it in their head they could thwart the Inquisition from within. Solas had only been asked to help consult on possible magic that may be employed. After they had left, Bull had pulled him down into the large lower hall and back into the wine cellar. Once alone the Qunari had picked him up easily enough and pinned him to the wall with hands on his hips and a kiss. He had protested, of course, since the Inquisitor was not there, but Bull had only chuckled and said that Tarl was fine with it.
Solas silenced a shudder that tried to run through him remembering it, heat pooling in his stomach momentarily, but the memory of the fingers that had pushed up his tunic at the waist was enough to stop it completely. He had quickly stopped the giant, managing a flimsy but straight-faced excuse before escaping to his rooms above the garden. He had cursed himself for the panicked moment later on, but he could not help that the moment things took a more physical turn he pulled away. It was not fear per se. It was the fact that he did not like the scars. Not like how Iron Bull showed off his own with pride or how Tarl would use the deep crags over the right half of his face to intimidate.
All right, maybe there was fear. Not fear that they would be a deterrent to them, but fear that they would try to glorify them or force him to show them off. Solas was not comfortable with his scars and he probably never would be, so they were not something he wanted put on display or for anyone to know of really. They were his to hide as he desired. And while he did wish to take things further he was not so inclined to allow the others to see what had been made of his body after years of war where there were few healers around to make sure nothing scarred or imprisonment with captors that wanted to make sure he had a reminder. Not for a simple fling that he had no doubt the invitation for would be retracted later on.
Solas sighed softly and smoothed out his clothes as he began to clean up his pigments and plasters. He needed to consider his next piece carefully, Tarl’s decisions with the mages were complex and a simpler mural would not do them justice. He turned only slightly as he heard the door open and smiled at Tarl as the necromancer stepped into the rotunda. The Inquisitor offered him a small smile, the normally stoic and cleared headed elf was already admiring the completed work, “I take it you like it,” Solas commented as he used magic to seal one of the buckets for possible later use and shift it to the side.
“I do,” he said, low voice slightly awed, “The colors are amazing, Solas.”
Solas nodded, “Thank you, lethallin.”
He had been surprised at himself when he had let that slip so easily after the events with his dearest friend, the Spirit of Wisdom. The moment the red-head had heard what had happened he had grabbed a few of the key members of the Inquisition and raced to the Exalted Plains. Even with the events that had followed, Solas could not stop the new familiarity and understanding that it had brought to him. Solas had let slip ‘lethallin’ one too many times perhaps, but he could hardly take it back now. And he wasn’t sure he wanted to. Tarl pulled him from his musings as he stepped towards the mural, warm umber eyes roaming over the drying plaster, “Does it dry quickly?”
“Yes, it’s already setting. It should be dried completely within a few hours,” he explained, cleaning one of his larger brushes thoroughly.
“Oh, my uncle used to create oil paintings when we stayed in one place longer than others. I take it this is nothing like that?” he asked, curious.
Solas chuckled, “It’s quite the opposite. This style of painting is a race against time. Oil’s are a leisurely style, but their slow nature make it hard to keep them in place.”
“Ah, I see. And this was something the ancient elves did often? I’ve seen a few in ruins. Well, pieces of them,” Tarl asked, hand hovering a good distance from the fresco in an almost nervous manner.
The dreamer stood and nodded, “Yes, they were quite prevalent. Many such crafts were learned so that each elf might decorate as they pleased,” he explained, remembering when he had learned the art himself.
A small smile tugged at Tarl’s full lips and he suppressed a sigh, “Maybe one day… when the world isn’t falling apart around us, you could teach me?”
Solas pulled back slightly, but after a moment he nodded, “Perhaps, if the world is ever prone to stay in one piece, that is.”
The Inquisitor laughed then, a soft sound, “True enough,” then turned to move towards the slightly taller elf, stepping a bit closer than was entirely necessary, “Oh yes, Bull has had his eye out for you. You’re not avoiding him, are you?”
Solas raised an eyebrow at the other elf, “Things have been busy. I have no reason to avoid the tal-vashoth.”
“Mmm,” Tarl hummed, a tiny smile tipping his lips, “Just wanted to make sure. I know he can get a bit…handsy. More so than he is willing to admit.”
Solas rolled his eyes, “Handsy? I would call it more of manhandling.”
Tarl chuckled at that but pulled back as a serious expression moved over his features, “In all truth though, lethallin. You are not adverse to this?” his voice was soft as he stepped even closer so their bodies were almost touching and let an arm move hesitantly around Solas’ waist.
There was a pause as Solas considered the question and the Inquisitor’s stance before leaning into the other slightly. Despite Tarl being a bit smaller than him he was solid as a wall and took his weight without even needing to reposition his feet, “I am… not entirely adverse. But there are many things to consider for something so playful.”
“I don’t play with those I take to bed, vhenan,” Tarl said without missing a beat.
Solas looked to him in surprise, grey eyes widening slightly as they locked onto warm, sharp ones. Tarl remained where he was, intense gaze fixed on Solas as the taller shifted away in shock more than anything else. The rift mage forced himself to speak as he tried to process what Tarl had just called him, “…then there is even more to consider.”
The necromancer nodded and before he could stop him the Inquisitor stole a quick kiss from him before pulling away and moving up the stairs to the library. Solas took an unsteady breath and turned back to the task at hand, trying to process what Tarl actually meant.
Solas knew the moment he left his rotunda that Tarl had gotten exactly what he wanted. The rift mage had sat stewing on the death mage’s words for the better part of an hour before finally giving up and gathering up a book and moving out of the rotunda and onto the battlements. He had followed them around to where the Herald’s Rest joined with the stone walls and moved to sit with legs crossed on the inner side of the ramparts so that he could look out over the upper level of the courtyard. There Bull was currently teaching a round of recruits how to deal with a rampaging reaver qunari under the careful eye of Cassandra.
The elf watched as Bull went at them ruthlessly, daring them to challenge him and stand their ground. This group of recruits seemed particularly sheepish and unsure and Cassandra was quick to bite at any who were ready to back down or run. Neither would be an option in battle. He pulled open his book and began to read, letting the sounds of people moving about, the clash of metal and voices, and the sound of the harsh mountain winds drown out his hearing as he read quietly.
He only jumped slightly when Bull let his axe clank onto the stone just behind him and the tal-vashoth leaned on the pommel, “Well,” the grey giant said as Solas turned to him, “Good book?”
“Intriguing, but ultimately flawed,” he said, offering the larger a small smile.
“Isn’t everything though? But it has to be pretty damned good if you aren’t riveted to this,” and promptly flexed to show off the ripple of his bicep muscles.
Solas couldn’t help a short snort, “Or perhaps the flex of your muscles is something that I tend to admire in more…realistic circumstances.”
Bull chuckled at that, “So that’s why you and Tarl always make sure to stand where you can get a good view out in the field.”
“It is a definite benefit,” he said as Bull leaned over him.
Grey eyes darted out over the courtyard as Bull leaned in to kiss the corner of his lips, a small thrill of nervousness ran through him. Bull only smirked, “Still nervous? I know Tarl has gotten in a few kisses in the open. Figured I’d see if I could to.”
Solas gave him a bland look, “Yes, feeding the rumor mill is hardly productive for either of you,” he said, reminding Bull of the rumors that already ran rampant at his and the Inquisitor’s relationship.
To add the apostate to the mix as some sort of…addition, or whatever he was to them, certainly didn’t help.
“Nah, the rumors will run with or without help. Did you know that they think that we’ve had every single member of the inner circle and advisors in our bedroom?” Bull snorted, pulling back only a little, “Tarl’s not that kind of elf.”
“Oh?” Solas inquired, eyebrows raised.
Bull raised an eyebrow in return, “I mean if he didn’t have feelings for you he wouldn’t pursue you.”
“And you, Iron Bull? How do I fit in for you?” Solas inquired, gaze intent on the giant.
There was a short pause, “Wherever you want to, Solas. I’ll tell you first, I would do for you what I did for Tarl: Give you a space where you didn’t feel threatened or in need of keeping pretenses. I’d have to think up a nickname for you though. Tarl’s already got ‘Khadan’. Maybe Kos-Meraad?”
Solas rolled his eyes at the towering warrior, “You are impossible, tal-vashoth. I have no need of any pet names.”
“Gonna figure out one anyway, now come ‘ere,” and reached out to try and catch Solas in a hug and another kiss.
Solas, however, wanted nothing to do with a sweat and dirt covered qunari and slid off the battlement and to the stairs below with a spell slowing his fall, “Aw, come on!” He heard Bull call after him.
“Perhaps when you don’t smell like you’ve been dragged through gurn dung, Bull,” he said simply, grey eyes glinting up at the horned giant before he continued back to his rotunda.
Bull leveraged his axe over his right shoulder as he looked out over the recruits. It had been a few days since he and Tarl had smoothed things over with Solas and progress with the elf was slow, but they were determined. Solas was not someone who simply settled down. He was an apostate, he was used to running, hiding, and dodging everything with experience from both the physical and dreaming world. Bull had to admit that he was not so sure the first time Tarl had proposed it, but as he saw how Solas, despite arguing extensively with Bull, do everything he could to help him transition into a mindset where he didn’t feel like he needed to be watched or handled to live, Bull had changed his mind. Or perhaps it was because the man was so tightly wound Bull couldn’t help wanting to unravel that knot.
Plus, Bull wasn’t about to delude himself into thinking that the clear interest Tarl had shown in Solas previously was magically gone after Bull and he jumped into bed together and Tarl handed him a necklace that he never believed he would receive. Tarl had practically been throwing himself at the other mage before, but now he had Bull helping him out and where Solas had completely rebuffed him before, he was starting to yield. His one good eye glanced down at Tarl who was standing with his arms crossed and staff in the crock of his arm as he watched the mages and recruits.
They were trying to promote understanding between the two, mages to understand how mundane fought and that they could still easily take the mages down and mundane to understand that they were not at the mercy of mages. It was all just a matter of knowing how to get past their defenses. Bull was just here as enforcement, Tarl was an eagle-eyed Dalish First right now. And the giant loved it when Tarl went all commanding, it reminded him that the control he gave Bull in the bedroom was very much a gift. Tarl could probably have him plastered across the courtyard grass if he ever didn’t want anything Bull did.
He shook himself out of admiring the Inquisitor and focused back on the recruits just in time to see a stray spell ricochet out of the barrier that the older mages had erected for safety, shattering it and actually bouncing off one stone wall and barrel towards the scaffolding that the dwarves up for their repairs. Bull yelled in warning and Tarl was racing across the courtyard with another of the senior mages in an attempt to save the dwarves that would otherwise fall to their deaths.
What caught his eye was Solas as he tried to dodge out of the way of the falling stone and wood. With a yell he raced full speed passed the others and grabbed the apostate by the shirt and wrenched him out of the way of a larger portion of the scaffolding as a barrier flicker to life to keep the other pieces of debris from landing on them. Even seeing the barrier Bull still instinctively put himself between Solas and the danger, wrapping his arms around the mage as he heard him grunt in his ear at the strain of keeping the barrier up.
When the dust finally settled Bull pulled back and looked down at the apostate, “Are you all right, Solas?”
The elf was dusty, but looked unscathed as he said, “Yes, I am fine. I did not expect going to talk to Tarl about his interactions with spirit remnants would end in me nearly being crushed by scaffolding.”
Bull chuckled, then caught sight of the shirt that he had practically ripped off of Solas. The entire left side was ripped open down his front, back, and along his arm, “Aw, shit, sorry Sol…as…”
He trailed off as he caught sight of what was under the remnants of the shirt. Scars littered pale skin, what looked like anything from acid burns to your typical blade scars, and even possibly claw marks. Solas was frozen in his arms, tense as the drawn string of a bow as his eye ran over the exposed skin, but despite the panic he saw Bull couldn’t help it as the hand at Solas’ back shifted and spread, feeling the scars there too.
“Solas? Bull?!” Tarl’s panicked voice cut through and the barrier around them dropped as Solas shot out of Bull’s arms.
Bull stood and Tarl was in front of them a second later, brown eyes lit with worry, “Are either of you hurt?”
His eyes ran over Bull in search of injury, not noticing how Bull seemed to be locked onto Solas. The rift mage was trying to cover up with the remnants of his shirt, but there was no way to get the shirt to cover his left arm again, or to cover both his back and front. Tarl turned his scrutiny to him and frowned, “Solas?”
“I am fine, Inquisitor. As is Bull. I was simply caught off guard,” the rift mage said, steadier than he looked, and he tried a calming smile.
Tarl attempted to reach out to the other elf, eyes locked on the marks he saw as the other spoke, “Your-“ but Solas pulled back.
“My fault, Khadan. It was the only thing I could grab when I was getting him out of the way,” Bull admitted, finally locking his eyes on Tarl’s.
Yellow-flecked eyes darted between Bull and Solas’ even as his lips set into a determined line, “All right, do you-“
“I am fine,” Solas repeated in a clipped tone, before turning and moving back towards the kitchens which would offer a less congested route back to his rooms, or so Bull guessed.
Bull’s eyes narrowed at the tapered marks of a whip he saw through the opening in the back of the shirt, but Solas was out of sight a moment later and Bull looked to Tarl again. The mage’s eyes moved over to him a second later and he was positive he saw a glint of rage under the determination and Bull was inclined to agree with it whole-heartedly. How had an isolated apostate ended up more scarred than Bull? They couldn’t investigate now, not with the injured and the discussion on safety that was inbound, but they would find the time as soon as possible.
It would figure that something that Solas did not want seen, and did not pertain to his more secretive plans, would come to light in the most flashy of ways. With a determined set of his pace he moved up the stairs that moved to the kitchens and ducked in. He didn’t miss the call of the head cook after why he was in the damned kitchens again. He ignored it and the way the other kitchen hands caught sight of his exposed shoulder and back. He felt like a thousands eyes were on him, even though there were only three sets.
But kitchen hands gossiped, so metaphorically, there was every eye in Skyhold on him. He took a steadying breath as he got to the stairwell that led up to the landing between Lady Josephine’s office and the main hall. It was just long enough to try and prepare himself for the short trek across the main hall. There really was no way around being further seen. Either he went across the courtyard and everyone, even those on the battlements, caught sight of him, or he darted through the main hall and the library.
The only real issue would be if Vivienne was in her little balcony. He had no desire for her, of all people, to see this. He took another measured breath and moved up the stairs.
Only to have Josephine open the door as he was two steps from the landing. The ruffled woman stopped and gasped in surprise, “Oh! Master Solas! I heard something happened in the courtyard. Are you all right?”
Solas forced a smile in place, “I am, but I am a bit out of sorts. If I could please continue to my rooms.”
She seemed surprised at the quick dismissal, but as she noticed his shirt she let out another surprised sound and moved out of his way, “Of course! I am sorry. Let me know if you have need of anything.”
Solas simply nodded and darted past her. Her dark eyes felt like fire on his skin and he quickly moved out into the hall where he nearly turned on his heel and went back. Vivienne was there, entertaining a host of nobles with a regalement of her plans for the hall and how she wished to ‘brighten the walls’ or some rot. He blocked out her voice and hugged the wall farthest from her, avoiding eye contact when he heard a small disgusted noise as one of the orlesians caught sight of him.
His stomach dropped and he moved faster as the thickly accented voice said, “What do they give these servants here? Nothing but ripped rags? How pathetic.”
He could feel as more and more eyes turn to him even as he tried to ignore them. The whispers increased and he came up short as an orlesian man cut him off, “Madame de Fer, you sing your songs about how wonderful the Inquisition is and this is all they give their servants? Please. You must be barely funded.”
Solas refused to look at the nobleman even as he kept his back straight and tall, instead opting to try to move around him, but the human dodged in front of him. He was full on panicking now, and his magic fluxed in response to the emotion, he reined it in before he sent a fireball in the man’s face though, “Move,” he snarled and he finally locked eyes on the noble.
He scoffed behind a full faced mask, “Such poor condition as well. Look at that scarring.”
Rage made fire glance about his fingertips but he didn’t get a chance to cast as a moment later another figure stepped between him and the noble man. “Hey, there was a just an accident in the courtyard. People were hurt. You wanna argue what our ‘servants’ are dressed in, take it up with the Inquisitor when he isn’t making sure people stay alive.”
Solas glanced down at Varric’s blonde hair and he was grateful for the rogue’s quick thinking. He was about to move around them both and escape when a cloak of some sort was placed around his shoulders. A steel-faced Vivienne looked at him, her hands lightly touching his shoulders. For a moment he almost tossed off the thin cloak, as she had removed it from her own shoulders, but then he would be bare to the on looking nobles.
With a thick swallow he nodded to the woman and she simply returned it. He gripped the cloak tightly to him and took the opening Varric was giving him by keeping himself and Vivienne between the elf and the nobles and was through the door to the rotunda as fast as he could be without running. He kept the cloak wrapped tightly around him as he went through the rotunda, up the stairs, and practically ran past Dorian who tried to stop him to ask about a certain book. Solas simply ignored him and continued until he was slamming and locking the door to his chambers behind him.
He leaned back against the door and tried to catch his breath, a hand moving to cover his face as he calmed down. Slowly, he pushed off the door and let the cloak fall to the ground and pulled the destroyed shirt off. He caught a glance of himself in the single dresser mirror that he wasn’t even sure why he had and could only sigh.
Jagged, discolored skin unevenly covered his right side from an acid burn. Another long swipe from his right shoulder to just above his navel had been a sword wielded by one of Elgar’nan’s spies. He turned to examine the careful, measured crisscross of whip marks that wrapped around his left side. He could remember their bite a bit more than he really wanted to. There were so many more, but he forced himself to look away and moved to the drawers and pull out a new shirt. He wrenched it on none too gently and moved to the cloak that was on the floor. Carefully he picked it up and made sure it was not stained, he did not need to be in more debt to Vivienne than his actions in the Hall already put him, and set it aside.
He needed to gather himself before he faced the rest of Skyhold again.
It was nearly dusk when he emerged again, the clean and folded cloak in hand, and he moved to the balcony where Vivienne usually was. He was intent on simply giving her back her cloak and then returning to his rooms, or perhaps the rotunda. He couldn’t hide forever. He grimaced as he saw Vivienne at her desk so he moved forward silent as possible to simply set the cloak down and leave.
Halfway there her voice stopped him, “You may set it on the chair arm, darling.”
His lips twisted but he simply moved to the chair to set it down. Before he could move to leave though she pushed out her chair and moved to stand before him. He squared his shoulders and stood resolutely before her. She watched him a moment, then said, “Who was it?”
Solas’ eyes narrowed, “Pardon?”
“Do not play, Solas. I do so hate it when it comes to these matters,” she said calmly, dark eyes moving to his torso.
The elf’s lips pressed into a thin line and he said, “Why? I thought games were your forte.”
She frowned darkly, “I have never endorsed abuses, Solas. I would see those that caused…this taken care of.”
Solas almost laughed at her for that, “You are too kind, First-Enchanter. But you are lying to yourself if you think that your precious Circles do not endorse the abuse that you have now seen across my skin. You should not trouble yourself though,” he continued before she could interject, “I exacted my revenge for these marks I bare long ago.”
She glowered at him, but he could see a thinly sewn thread of something in her eyes that he dared call respect as she said, “Good,” then turned back to her desk.
“But thank you,” he said quietly through grit teeth.
She paused before sitting down and turned back to him, “Of course, my dear.”
He nodded, then quickly turned away and moved down to the rotunda. He would not be seen as phased by what had happened, by what they all knew now. Let them speculate, let them assume what they would. He had to continue forward.
Several days of whispers and looks that made Solas glare or cringe, or both, and Solas was feeling particularly high strung. Varric had tried to ask them about them twice. Each time had ended in a clear dismissal and reminder to not ask again. Varric got it after the second time thankfully. Cole had come and spent a good while trying to find a way to help him, but in the end he had given him that lost look before leaving as quietly as he came. Vivienne had become… motherly. It was unnerving and he couldn’t help glowering at her as she tried to find little jibbing ways to make sure he ate, or that he got out of the rotunda regularly, and so on. He had had it up to his neck with her attempts and the only reason he hadn’t tossed her off her balcony was because of that look Tarl had given him at one point when Solas was an inch from a ice spell that would do the trick.
Josephine had sent him a balm that was supposedly to help with reducing scarring. While he realized she thought it was a nice gesture he had promptly tossed it out the window. The woman knew nobles and the pampered, but she did not know warriors but on a basic level. The very idea of using it made his skin ache. Last he saw her she had given him this sheepish look before focusing on the nobles she was speaking with.
Cassandra seemed to be unsure about him again, and Blackwall seemed to feel they were somehow much closer combat friends than previously. Even offering a bit of sparring practice that Solas gently declined. Sera was perhaps the worst. It was clear Tarl had told her if she pointed it out, joked on it, pranked about it, anything, he’d have her head somehow. Every time they came in contact in their rare moments she looked like she was about ready to burst, and not with her normal disgusted snarl. Solas couldn’t figure out if it was because she felt some form of unwarranted and unwanted pity for him, or if she wanted to do something terrible to him, but feared Tarl’s wrath.
Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, it was Dorian that was the one who seemed to understand that Solas had no desire to have them pointed out or be treated differently because of them. The mage still tossed books over the balcony when he thought Solas was being difficult or had incorrect information, argued magical techniques with him, and made sure he knew when he disapproved of his choice in clothes. Everyone else seemed to be unable to handle the idea that Solas, the assumed antisocial, isolated apostate, was covered in scars that suggested otherwise.
Tarl and Bull… He had been avoiding them like the Blight. He didn’t want to handle what they may do with this newfound knowledge. But Tarl had this uncanny way of getting what he wanted. So when the rift mage crouched down to clean his hands after a new mural had been completed, he jumped and glared at Tarl as the other’s hands moved into his field of vision and touched his forearms. Solas glanced down and grit his teeth and tried to pull away but the thin hands grasped his scarred limbs and he immediately looked back up to those brown eyes to demand he be let go but Tarl only stared calmly back at him before he said coolly, “Vhenan.”
The mage suppressed a flinch, but couldn’t help looking away as Tarl continued, “You’re avoiding both of us now. It’s been over a week.”
He tried to pull his hands away again but Tarl held them tightly. He should have known that hiding from the Inquisitor would be impossible. Iron Bull was easy to avoid since the man was so easy to pick out, but Tarl was silent as a falling piece of silk when he wanted. There was a pause before the dalish said softly, “I know we can be a bit overbearing-“ he paused only slightly at Solas’ snort, “-but I think we need to talk,” and glanced down at the forearms he held.
“Talk? What good would that do? You have seen it.” Solas said with a quirk of his head, “You and the others have been rather… intrigued by something that I wished left alone.”
Tarl frowned at that and sighed, not letting go of Solas even as he settled cross-legged in front of him. Quietly he began to wash off Solas’ hands, “I am sorry, Solas. It is not my place to say what you can and cannot show me on your body. I wish I knew if only so I could exact some sort of vengeance on those that would cause such harm to someone I love. I’ll admit I also want explanations that are not mine to take. Perhaps I am too used to people throwing information at me left and right that when I am denied it by one so close to me it… bothers me.”
Solas watched as Tarl gently cleaned the last of the plaster from his hands before picking up a clean towel and beginning to dry them. Before Solas could stop him Tarl placed a kiss to the inside of one wrist, then the other, right over one of the scars. He shivered and finally tug his arms away. Tarl let them go and the rift mage quickly pulled down his sleeves. Tarl watched, seeming to try to understand before nodding to himself, “Let us talk about this. Please?”
The ancient elf raised an eyebrow, “Why?”
Tarl gave him a beseeching smile, “Just come to my quarters this evening, please?”
Solas considered for a moment before finally sighing and nodding, “As you wish.”
The necromancer beamed at him and threw his arms around Solas in a tight hug. The older mage tensed for a moment, then relaxed and brought his arms around Tarl’s waist. Tarl pulled away first, leaving a kiss on the corner of his mouth before practically skipping from the rotunda and leaving Solas to shake his head. What had he just agreed to?
Tarl leaned back against Bull and took a nervous breath as he looked at the slowly disappearing sunlight, “You think he’ll come?”
“He said he would, Khadan. Solas isn’t the sort to go back on something like that. Not saying he won’t get here and just say ‘no’ to everything though,” Bull pointed out.
The mage grumbled, “Not helping.”
“No, but being realistic. Solas has to want this. I think we made the emotional part of things pretty clear. If the hang up really is his scars then… we can make him feel differently about them,” Bull said, rubbing the elf’s side.
Tarl took a breath and nodded, “All right, are you sure you’re ok with this?”
Bull chuckled, “I am, Khadan, but we don’t need to talk about something we’ve discussed in fifteen different ways already just to add number sixteen.”
Tarl made a face at him but sighed and finally relaxed, “I know, I just don’t want to lose either of you in this. I desire you both, emma lath.”
“I know, Khadan. Remember that I want both of you as well. It may have taken me a bit longer to reach that, but I am there with you. Plus, if this works out, I’ll be banging two of the hottest elves in the keep. I’m very much for that,” Bull said with a lustful growl.
The mage chuckled and shifted to look up at the qunari. They were lain out in the massive qunari sized bed in his chambers. Food, water, and a change of sheets were off by his desk. They weren’t sure entirely where things would go on so they had prepared for anything. If it ended well, they would use all of it. If it ended poor, none of it. Tarl wanted this to work out so badly it almost hurt to think about it not working. Sure, he’d still have Bull, but to not have Solas, or ever the prospect was just as terrifying to him as losing the tal-vashoth.
He sunk back into the bed and groaned. Bull just chuckled and wrapped an arm around his torso and pulled him close, “Stop being depressing, Tarl. He hasn’t said ‘no’ yet.”
The Inquisitor breathed deeply and shakily before nodding and curling up to wait for Solas to arrive.
Solas stood on the walkway that led to the Inquisitor's quarters and stared at the door from the bottom of the last flight of stairs. He shouldn’t be here, he shouldn’t have agreed to come to his quarters. Beyond that door was both Tarl and Bull, waiting to talk about his scars and other things. He frowned at himself, relationship, they were probably going to talk about their relationship with him. He raised his hands and pressed the heels of his palms against his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, but he was. He dropped his hands and looked at the door with a determined glare and moved up to knock on the thick wood.
There was a pause and then the sound of someone running down the stairs before the door swung up. Tarl broke into a wide smile as he beckoned Solas into the room, “I was almost afraid you wouldn’t come.”
The rift mage moved into the large room and up the last flight of stairs, “I said I would come, did I not?”
“Yes, but you could always change your mind,” Tarl said a bit sheepishly before waving a dismissive hand, “But you came, so that means we can talk about all this.”
They reached the top of the stairs and Solas glanced over to see Bull sitting on the side of their giant bed, “Yes, and what exactly… is all this?” Solas asked, gesturing between the three of them.
“Cutting right to the chase, eh? First and foremost, we have a proposition,” Bull said, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his thighs, “I’m sure you have an idea of what it is, but we’d rather it be clear. We want you to join us. Permanently. Not as a simple one night stand or anything like that. We want you in our relationship, not just our bed.”
Solas was taken back despite knowing it may be what they really wanted after their comments prior to the accident, “That was… implied before.”
There was an awkward pause before Bull chuckled from his spot on the bed, “How about you tell us how you feel about us?”
The rift mage paused, glancing between them, “I…cannot say I am adverse to this but… both of you?”
They both nodded and he took a breath, “I see,” his chest constricted as he tried to voice his own feelings.
Tarl was the one to finally offer a place to start, “Is it the scars?”
Solas looked away, “After a fashion," he finally said, "I have feelings for both of you, but what was done to me is something I may never feel comfortable speaking to either of you about and I am… not comfortable with them the way that you both are your own,” he swallowed thickly, finally admitting it, “I hate them and I hate how now that they are revealed, it has changed how I am treated by the rest of the inner circle and the keep.”
Solas refused to look at either as he clenched his hands into tight fists at his sides. He heard Bull moving towards him from the bed as Tarl moved into his line of sight, “I’ll deal with the others, but that’s fine, Solas. We don’t expect you to suddenly love your scars just because we wear them as badges of pride. It took a while for me to look at my face and not just see a warped version of myself.”
The rift mage opened his mouth to argue but Bull cut in, “And we’re not going to try and change your mind either. If you want to hide them from everyone else, hide them. We just ask that you understand that here with us they’re all right.”
“So you expect me to suddenly be fine with you seeing them as well?” he bit out more harshly than he had actually been meaning to.
“Of course not, Solas,” Tarl paused, grinning a little, “Just if you want to go around topless here, we’re not going to protest that.”
Solas couldn’t help a small, surprised laugh at that. He tensed slightly as Bull moved around behind him, calloused hands moving to settle on his hips and his breath deepened, “And right now?”
“If you say yes to joining our relationship, then maybe we can give them a bit different meaning,” Tarl explained.
Solas frowned, trying to think on the proposition. Tarl brought his hands up, settling them loosely just above Bull’s on his sides. Finally, against his better judgment, the ancient elf said, “All right, I will join you.”
A brilliant smile spread over Tarl’s face and the smaller elf was kissing him. He gave a muffled protest that died into a moan as the kiss deepened. He felt more than heard Bull laugh behind them, “Dive right in, eh Tarl?”
Tarl pulled back reluctantly, “Mm, I’ve been waiting for that answer longer than you, so yes. Right on in.”
“Rules first, Khadan,” Bull advised and Solas pulled himself together.
“Yes, rules. I understand you of a rather…interesting relation within the bedroom,” Solas said.
“Don’t pretend you haven’t heard the rumors. Because most of them are true. Except for the ones about the inner circle and advisors. Because no,” Tarl explained, finally pulling back completely and leading Solas to the bed.
Bull remained standing as both elves sat down, Tarl tucking his legs under him, “I have a feeling you’ll want to pick your watchword, but for the moment, let’s keep it simple. We use 'katoh' in this room to signal for something to stop. You use that word, we both stop. No questions, no judgement.”
Solas nodded, “I may wish to choose another, but if ‘stop’ in qunlat works for you both then I would not make you need to remember two words.”
Tarl laughed, “I told you he would already know it.”
Bull gave the necromancer a disgruntled look, but continued, “Second is what happens in this room stays here. Outside of it we have a relationship, but Tarl is the Inquisitor, you are the Dreamer Apostate, I’m the Reaver Qunari. That doesn’t change. This is a safe haven. Like I said up on the battlement, here is where you get to release all that tension and pretense.”
Solas nodded again in understanding, “It will take time for me to settle into this, but I understand.”
“We know this won’t happen overnight, but we can at least get things started. First thing is going to get you to understand that we’re not going to judge you over your scars,” Bull said plainly, making Solas flinched slightly, “Will you let us do that?”
The rift mage didn’t even have a chance to think on it as the word left his mouth, “Yes.”
Bull’s gave his lopsided grin, but it was somehow softer than normal, “Good, can Tarl take off your top?”
Solas nodded after a short pause. The other elf reached forward and let his hand settle at the belt before removing it. Carefully the smaller elf removed the top and tossed it aside. He refused to look at either Tarl or Bull as their eyes moved over his body, instead looking off out one of the windows. He couldn’t help flinching as thin fingers moved over his stomach, skimming over the ridge of scars and the smaller pieces of clear skin inbetween. Tarl’s low voice made him tense more than he already was, “Solas, vhenan, please look at me.”
A slow breath and he looked down at those umber eyes. They danced with reassurance, but he could see the rage beneath them, “Tarl, you can’t-“
“I know, I know you don’t want to tell me and that I may never be able to exact any sort of revenge on those who did this to you. That doesn’t mean I can’t be angry about it.” The death mage shook his head, “But this isn’t about me or what I want to do. This is about you. Is it all right that I'm touching them?”
Solas gave a slightly rueful laugh, “They are hard to miss, but yes, it's fine.”
And that smile was back as Solas actually blushed as thin fingers began mapping the scars on his front. He cleared his throat and was thankful for the distraction of Bull settling on the bed behind him. He glanced over his shoulder as the giant leaned forward and said, “Can I?”
“Yes,” the rift mage assented, shivering slightly as larger hands moved along his back.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t touch us, Solas,” Tarl pointed out with a grin.
Solas gave him a playful scowl, “I am aware, lethallin,” as his hands moved to run over Tarl’s arms.
“Aww, I’m still only lethallin?” Tarl pouted.
“What does that mean?” Bull asked.
“It’s the masculine word for a friend,” Tarl explained, “I’ve already named him 'vhenan' and you 'emma lath',” and pouted at the older.
Solas couldn’t help a more genuine laugh that left him, “With time, Tarl. You may have decided your name for me, but I doubt Bull has his for me yet either.”
“I thought you weren’t for pet names,” Bull pointed out as he pressed a kiss to his shoulder.
Solas wasn’t able to answer as he quickly realized that they had distracted him long enough for them to map out each of the scars on his torso. He blinked in a bit of confusion but before he could say anything more Tarl grinned and leaned in to kiss him again. The rift mage moaned as he returned the kiss and then he was being pulled back and into Bull’s lap. He shuddered as he felt the bulge of Bull’s arousal against his lower back as Tarl pressed flush against him, sandwiching him between the two. While Tarl plundered his mouth Bull took to his neck and shoulder, laying down kisses and small bites between sucking on the skin to probably leave marks behind.
Those scarred lips moved up to this ear, moving over the shell of his ear and making him shiver. Tarl pulled back from the kiss, leaving Solas breathless as he grinned and looked at the tal-vashoth over his shoulder. Umber eyes moved back to him before laying one more kiss on his lips and then kissing his chin briefly then moving lower. Full lips moved skillfully down his chest as those equally skilled fingers smoothed over his scars in a soothing manner.
Bull’s voice rumbled in his ear and Solas shuddered at the warm breath that passed over the sensitive ear, “Damn, Solas. Do you know how incredibly hot you two look kissing?”
The rift mage laughed, though it died into a moan as Tarl laved his tongue over one of his nipples, “I am sure it’s a sight to be seen. Though I have yet to know more than a few fleeting kisses of yours. Tarl seems to think highly of your skill.”
Bull chuckled and a hand came around to take hold of Solas’ chin, “Let me demonstrate then,” and Bull leaned in to capture his lips.
Where Tarl was passionate and emotional, Bull was controlled and calculating. He teased Solas with his tongue, mimicking certain movements of what could happen later on in the night and it made Solas tremble, but the tal-vashoth only released him from the kiss when he was gasping for breath. Solas moved a hand to bury it in Tarl’s red hair as he travelled further down his body and nipped at his stomach, making the muscles there jump. Thin fingers moved to the ties of his pants and lust clouded eyes glanced up at him. Solas nodded his approval and Tarl quickly removed them.
Bull’s hands moved to help pull off the leggings and his smalls, tossing them aside. There was a pause as Solas’ heart tried to crawl into his throat. Claw marks drags down his left leg, from hip to mid calf. Scars from another set of manacles marks his ankles and the careful whip marks extended down to the back of his knees. Random weapon marks were scattered across them, but perhaps it was the nail and knife marks on his inner thighs that lit the fire in Tarl’s eyes again, rage renewed twice over and it made Solas flinch away from the younger elf.
“Tarl. No,” came Bull’s definitive command.
The two shared a look over Solas’ shoulder and he tried to swallow down his fear. There was a pause and then the Inquisitor forced a breath out and those frail seeming hands touched his cheek, “Sorry,” he said softly and gave him another kiss, “I promised I wouldn’t ask. I’m not going to, and I am going to show you just how much I still love you.”
“I know, Tarl,” Solas said softly, finally looking at him again.
Bull placed a kiss on the nape of his neck and he leaned back into Bull as Tarl kissed him again. He had not expected Bull to be so much of a grounder through this and he sank into that as Tarl remained a whirlwind of emotion and desire. It made him wonder why the mage had taken up ice magic and necromancy when he felt like a tempest of fire and lightning in the bedroom.
Tarl moved back down Solas’ body and Bull’s hands moving to pull his legs apart as Solas latched onto the reaver’s muscled forearms. His arousal had softened somewhat at the reaction to the scarring on his thighs, but soon that changed as Tarl ran his tongue along the underside from base to tip. He gave a soft cry and he felt Bull’s cock twitch against his back. He bit his lower lip as he thought up a plan to tease the larger as he let a hand tangle in those red strands again as Tarl began to swallow the rift mage’s length.
He’d be lying if he ever said that Tarl didn’t know how to use his mouth and tongue. It almost distracted Solas from the previously thought up plan for teasing Bull. At least until Bull rumbled happily at the sight of watching Tarl take Solas’ cock over the bald elf’s shoulder. Solas grinned then and shifted slightly in the qunari’s lap and let his hips shift back over the arousal pressed against his ass and then forward into Tarl’s waiting mouth.
What Solas didn’t expect was what the tal-vashoth did next. Bull grunted and gripped his legs tighter, “So damned gorgeous,” he murmured into Solas’ ear, “All spread out and open, the way your body arches and quivers. Want more of it, of you. Want to see you riding my cock till you come…”
The words sent a tremble through him and pooled in his groin, feeding his arousal as he now moved instinctively between grinding back against Bull’s arousal and forward into Tarl’s talented mouth. Bull kept talking, murmuring praises and all the things he wanted to do to Solas. It was like a flood gate had opened and Solas couldn’t help how he never wanted it to stop. He had had many lovers, but none had taken the time to categorize all the things that they loved about his body, how it turned and moved even. Was Bull actually praising how his fingers looked locked in Tarl’s hair? Yes, he was, and damn if it didn’t make him burn with arousal and a strange sense of pride and bewildering relief.
“Bull…Tarl…!” was all he could really manage, so close to the edge.
The tal-vashoth growled into his ear, “Come, Ataash-Anaan. Let him taste you. Let me see what you look like when you come.”
Solas didn’t need anything more as he came into Tarl’s mouth, body arched as his breath stopping for a moment. Tarl swallowed everything he had to offer, pulling off only as Solas let go of his hair finally and sat up as Solas melted back into Bull’s chest. He gasped for breath and watched Tarl through heavily lidded eyes before they trailed up to Bull, “Ataash-anaan... Is that what you've settled on?”
Tarl laughed as he leaned up to kiss his lips, letting the rift mage test the remnants of himself on his lips before Bull said, “Yes.”
"I am no glorious thing to be claimed," Solas pointed out, though there was little bite to the comment
"That's not why I chose it. It's for the glorious victory that you are. An apostate dreamer mage that managed to escape the clutches of the chantry, that gained knowledge and experience beyond any of them and that has fought and bled for what he is. You are Ataash-Anaan," Bull explained.
Solas stared at him in shock, unable to figure out what to say, before simply leaning in to kiss the larger again. Bull hummed into the kiss, pleased, then pulled back and said, "Don't get too emotional, that was only round one,” and kissed his ear.
Solas blinked in surprise, “Round one?”
“Yeah, we finally got you in our bed. The first night should always leave the newest in the bed walking as funny as possible the next day,” Bull explained with a wide grin.
Solas tried to sit up again to face the tal-vashoth and challenge that but the shift made him grind back against Bull stiff arousal and he moaned as those large hands dug into his thighs a moment before sliding up to his hips and beginning to grind against him, “Think you can take me?” the reaver asked.
The rift mage shuddered and his eyes locked with Tarl’s, the umber eyes hungry as he watched them. “Yes,” he moaned out and leaned forward towards Tarl, needing to kiss him again.
Bull gave a pleased hum and shifted again, “On your knees, Ataash-Anaan,” and gave Solas’ thigh a small pat.
Solas did so, continuing to kiss Tarl as they moved, and raised himself off of Bull’s lap and onto his knees with Tarl as the tal-vashoth finally got rid of his clothes. Solas pulled away from the kiss and murmured, “You’re still clothed too.”
Tarl grinned, “Yeah, I'm good. It's nice to be the one left in clothes every now and again. Usually I'm the one naked and Bull's still got that damn binder-"
"Harness," Bull ground out, making Tarl grin.
“Plus, I want to see you ride him. Do you have any idea how hot you look just when you’re getting sucked off? Watching him fill you and then as those very nice, lean thighs tense each time you rise and fall? I am very determined to see that,” the other elf said, as strong hands moved grip his ass.
Solas moaned yet again, pressing back into the hands despite the fact that they were pressed over scars he had not let anyone touch in thousands of years and let his head fall onto one narrow shoulder. He jumped slightly as a large hand moved down his back and he glanced back to find Bull now fully nude and crouched behind Solas. Grey eyes moved over corded muscle and while most was on display any way, seeing the power in those legs was definitely something he had ingrained in his mind now. But his cock, which stood proudly, dark, thick, and long, made him lick his lips. Bull grinned widely, “Wanna ride?”
“If either of you use that damned saying one more time, I am going to throw you both off the balcony,” Solas growled, glaring between them.
Bull burst into laughter and Tarl buried his face in Solas’ collarbone as he laughed, “Well, I thought we would get a few more in before your patience with it got warn out.”
“My patience is notoriously bad in the bedroom,” the taller elf advised.
“Noted,” Bull said, “that already gives me a few ideas for the future, but right now, let's see if you can take me.”
Solas rolled his eyes at the larger and was about to shift into a more comfortable position, but Tarl raised his head to nip at his ear and held him in place as the hands on his ass spreading him open. He gasped softly and glanced back to find Bull with one finger poised at his entrance, covered in a thick coat of oil, the bottle held in the other hand. There was a moment where Bull asked permission silently and Solas gave it before looking away and dropping his head to Tarl’s shoulder again, his hands gripping the younger’s sides as Bull began to work in the first finger.
It was a careful process. He could tell Bull was judging if Solas could even stretch enough to take him the first time. The rift mage was careful to take even breaths as he relaxed around the digit as it worked it’s way into him. Tarl held him through the initial entry until Bull had the first in to the base knuckle. Then Tarl finally let go of Solas’ ass, though seemingly reluctantly, and shifted down until he was laying on his back and Solas was dropped forward over him on his elbows.
As Bull carefully began to work in a second finger Tarl soothed him and murmured into his ear different praises, helping distract as his over-sensitive body was stretched until Bull had three fingers inside of Solas and slowly fucked him with them. He didn’t push back onto them until Bull found that spot inside of him that made him arch with a short cry, clenching for a moment before relaxing again. Tarl grinned up at him, “He’s really good at hitting it once he’s found it.”
“I… would hope so… His aim in battle is usually quite p-AH!” He was cute off as Bull massage his prostate.
“My aim is poor? Really Solas?” Bull shot back as the digits separated and stretched him open.
“You wield a mace larger tha-hnn-than your head and horns c-combined. You don’t really aim at all,” Solas had to pause to catch his breath, “I am hoping for m-more accuracy with yo-“ He cut off to yell again as Bull pressed his prostate mercilessly.
“Not to worry, Ataash-Anaan. I’ll be sure to prove you wrong,” he said before slowly pulling out his fingers.
Solas squirmed as he was left empty and Tarl was quick to place a hand on his hips to stop him, “Don’t fidget, it makes you tense.”
The rift mage stilled himself and took a deep breath to keep from tensing up again. When Bull returned he leaned over Solas and kissed the base of his skull, “You sure you can take it?”
Solas chuckled, “I am quite sure,” and glanced over his shoulder.
Bull leaned forward more to kiss him before pulling back again. Solas took a deep breath as he felt the head of Bull’s arousal at his entrance and he shuddered before he was pushing in. There was a quiet moment as Solas fought to stay relaxed, teeth biting into his lower lip, and Bull pressed persistently forward. With a sharp gasp the head finally pushed passed his rim and he trembled, adjusting to being open so wide. Bull paused to wait, careful and watchful. When Solas finally nodded his head, relaxed enough that he could take more, Bull began to press forward. He pressed in slowly, eye watching Solas react and no doubt looking for queues from Tarl if something was wrong.
Tarl was doing his part to keep Solas relaxed, hands moving comfortingly over his sides, lips moving over his collarbone, and murmuring into his ear that he was doing well. When Bull was finally sheathed entirely inside of him the horned giant stopped and placed his hands on either side of Solas and Tarl and waited. It was pleasure and pain all in one and he wondered minutely if this was how it felt for him, then how did Tarl manage it since he was smaller than Solas?
As Bull waited for Solas to relax enough that he felt he wouldn’t hurt the smaller, the rift mage began pressing kisses to Tarl’s shoulder and neck, pulling a soft moan out of the elf below him. When the tal-vashoth finally began moving Solas had to briefly bite down into the tender skin as Bull’s length hit every spot inside of him. Tarl’s breath hitched, then he chuckled, “Amazing, isn’t it?”
Solas could only nod as he lifted his head and moved to kiss the younger again. Tarl sighed happily and returned the kiss, arms wrapping around his waist as they enjoyed each other while Bull slowly thrust in and out of the rift mage. The thrusts picked up and Solas finally pulled away just so he could breathe more easily as a shift in angle made each aim for his prostate.
The next thing he knew Bull had wrapped a hand to the front of Solas’ chest and was pulling him up right until he was pressed back against Bull’s barrel chest. Solas leaned back, shuddering as the position put Bull deep within him. The larger hands now on his hips began moving him up and down on the tal-vashoth’s cock, but Solas hooked his legs back into a bent position so he could assist in the movements and using the giant's forearms to balance once more. He only looked back at Tarl again when he felt a hand on his now hard again length.
Grey eyes focused on Tarl and he moaned at the sight of the other mage with a hand on Solas' arousal and his own, pumping them in time with Bull’s thrusts. Bull rumbled in approval behind them and Solas began to edge his hips so that they would move between Tarl’s hand and Bull’s cock. Teeth bit into his lower lip as his his fingers dug into Bull’s forearms looking for purchase. He knew there would probably be no marks for the larger to sport, but Solas would have bruises from where Bull’s fingers dug into his hips and that just made every sensation sharper.
“Dammit, do either of you know how fucking hot you are like this?” Bull growled in his ear.
He could only moan in answer as Tarl groaned breathlessly and said, “You’ll have plenty of opportunities to repeat it. I suggest a mirror.”
Solas’ breath hitched at the idea and Bull bit down on his shoulder sharply. Tarl just laughed as his hands continued to work both himself and Solas. With so much stimulation the rift mage didn’t last much longer. He came with a coarse cry into Tarl’s hand and Bull grunted behind him as he tightened around the giant. A few last thrusts and Bull was spilling inside of him, buried to the hilt and holding him in place. Grey eyes wandered down to Tarl as he whimpered and he could see that the smaller elf had just reached his own climax, leaning forward to catch his breath.
They stayed like that for a long moment until Bull gently rolled to his side, letting Solas sprawl out as he pulled out of him. He could hear Tarl rummaging about on the other side of the room, but he wasn’t inclined to determine exactly what he was doing until the smaller was climbing onto the bed with a bowl of water and a cloth. He had washed his hands clean and removed his clothes finally and now sat with a pleased smile as he began to gently clean up Solas. The older allowed it and hummed, “Aftercare,” more to himself than anyone else.
“You questioned we did it?” Tarl asked with a raise of his eyebrow.
“No, I am simply talking more than anything else. I would have been rather… cross if you did not. And the signs of it not being used are clear to one that knows them,” Solas explained.
“Sub-drop,” Bull offered, "can't always prevent it, but the aftercare helps, and if you were going through it, I was there," and Solas nodded in agreement.
Understanding lit in Tarl's eyes and he nodded as well. Solas offered the other a smile, “I may not have been in a relationship with you at the time, vhenan, but I am still protective of those I feel strongly for.”
Tarl’s expression softened then brightened as he realized what Solas had called him, and the Inquisitor leaned forward, kissing Solas gently. Once Tarl pulled back and finished making sure Solas was clean and comfortable he stepped away and Bull moved to pull Solas onto the pillows and then back against his chest. Solas shifted around, hissing slightly at how sore he was. Bull moved to stop him but the elf shook his head. He situated himself until he was comfortable and tucked his head over Bull’s arm moving a pillow to further pad the position. Bull chuckled, “Always got to do it your way.”
“Of course, at least I am not as bad as Dorian,” Solas said, glancing back as Tarl climbed into the bed.
The three curled up together, the other two creating a strange protective barrier around him that he was surprised he only just noticed. Bull ran a soothing hand over his side and he found it didn’t bother him that much. Tarl was humming softly as he placed gentle kisses across his shoulders, healing magic pouring over the bruises on his neck and hips. As Solas settled further, sleep beginning to pull him under, he found he did not want to be anywhere else.
Morning was a strange but not unwelcome affair. Tarl had been insistent on simply having a servant grab him a change of clothes and bring it back. Bull had simply sat there grinning as Solas sighed and allowed it. The rift mage was sure that Bull had had that argument with the Inquisitor and gave Solas a sympathetic look. Then they had leisurely eaten breakfast until Leliana came knocking at the door and demanded that Tarl meet his advisors in the war room. Solas was still sore and walking was a careful ordeal, but Bull promised it would be gone in a few hours. If not, Stitches apparently had a salve that would take care of the rest so he didn't need to make an embarrassing trip to the healer halls.
He sat perched on the small couch in his rotunda with a book in hand, hips at an angle that did not bother him. He looked up and raised an eyebrow at Vivienne as the circle mage stepped before him, arms crossed as she stared down at him, "Darling-" he rolled his eyes "-I see you have finally taken the offer extended to you. Might I give you a word of advice?"
Solas leaned on his hand as he said, "Yes, please do."
She moved to sit daintily next to Solas, though keeping a fair distance between them as he watched her with suspicion, "If they give cause, let me know. They may not be nobles, but that changes nothing," she said in a low tone.
The rift mage looked at her in confusion, "I hardly believe there would be any reason for such, considering how little we favor one another."
"Of course there is, my darling. We are both of us mages, regardless of how much we hate each other I'll not see you tossed aside lightly," she emphasized.
"Do you not think that I could exact my own revenge?" He asked, thoroughly confused by her offer.
"If it's absolutely necessary, I suppose. But you must remember darling, you are no longer alone here," she reached forward to pat his side gently before gliding from the room.
Solas sat with his book open in his lap, utterly bewildered before Dorian spoke from the second floor, "Take it for what it is, Solas. Somehow you just got Madame de Fer as an ally if you ever need it."
The ancient elf couldn't help bursting into laughter at that. Apparently the impossible was truly possible.