Kate rolled around some more in bed, the electric heating pad below her and still not helping. The past few days the pains in her body were getting worse and worse, she felt feverish and her headache just wouldn't leave her. She didn't dare tell her fiance more than, "Ugh I need a massage and some ibuprofen!" He knew she'd become semi obsessed with the Solas character and was annoyed but overall fine with it. Solas wasn't real, and she tried not to talk about it or show off her drawings to him. She felt silly for being so angry for so long over a game break up, as though she'd really been the one. She'd just given her first character a whatever name like "Ellnara" and figured it was good. Later on she made a human to romance Cullen just to move on from the pain of Solas. It didn't help, obviously. So she tried making a male character just to romance Dorian, that didn't help either. So of course she made a new female elf mage just to romance Solas all over again. And that night she'd gone to bed right after creating her and deciding not to start yet.
As she lay in bed trying to push her mind into dreaming, preferably about some Solas smooching, she felt the pain overtake her body. She could feel the chills settle into her bones and the heat flush her face, she'd already taken painkillers in hopes of soothing this night and getting proper sleep. She couldn't open her eyes, but couldn't sleep either. Constant pain and discomfort led to her twisting and turning her body into strange positions, knowing she wouldn't be able to sleep she rolled over in the direction her edge of the bed figuring Dragon Age could sooth her mind. As she rolled she kept rolling and rolling and after a moment she knew she shouldn't still be rolling, she pretty much slept on the edge of the bed. So she tried to stop and couldn't, no matter how hard she tried to peel open her eyes they wouldn't and she couldn't stop rolling. She started feeling lumps in her sides and she rolled and an pungent smell hit her nose causing her stomach to join in on the flopping. As she started to open her mouth to scream she heard loud booming noises. Like thunder, as suddenly as the loud noise appeared it disappeared along with her tumbling.
She could feel nothing, unless you count a cold wind against her bare skin something. She still couldn't move or open her eyes which was now starting to distress her more than her constant tumbling did and the pungent smell was growing stronger. It was like burnt flesh or like old meat. Her entire body started tingling as she heard yelling and more voices joined in on the screaming. She still couldn't do more than lay there and hear the noises around her grow louder and the smells stronger. After what felt like forever she heard a familiar voice yelling, "Go! Warn the others!"
"Not without you, we need you!"
She recognized these voices, she knew she did and so she tried to yell out, ask for help something! All that came out was a loud grunt.
"Someone's alive. Quickly, take her!"
She felt someone poke at her and she responded with another grunt, she heard screeching and screaming in the direction they'd spoken first and felt arms lace around her lifting her up. She was now very anxious at the fact she felt her body being touched but still had no control. Then she heard a scream right beside her, and she felt the person holding her almost drop her. The screaming stopped, as they gathered themselves and yelled, "No! Go! Take the girl and save yourselves!" And then a shout and the voice was gone. She felt her body jumbled about as whoever was carrying her jumped.
She felt a harsh blast of air and then felt the air change, causing her body to burn and tingle as though she'd just been electrocuted. A stronger smell hit her as her rescuer tumbled and she fell out of their arms, she felt the ground beneath her scrape and bruise her body as she rolled some more. She heard yelling in the direction she was rolling and just as someones rough hands grabbed at her she was able to open one eye for just a moment only to be met with a bright green light and a world she knew all to well before slipping off into a welcoming silent darkness.
Chapter 2: Not a Dream?
After all the painful sleepless nights was this finally the dream she's been waiting for?
Kate falls into a world she's all too familiar with and has no idea how to tackle it, she knows she has to cling onto the memories of the game hoping her being here doesn't change everything.
She could hear muffled voices arguing, she knew this had to be a dream and yet it felt so real. She'd woken from dreams into dreams before but in this much.. pain? When she'd been struck by objects or shot with arrows or bullets in dreams it just, happened. There was never pain or this much feeling in a dream, not in any even the most realistic ones. There was most certainly pain all over her body, she knew there had to be scrapes and bruises but at least her headache was gone. She felt slightly energized aside from the small aches this dream or whatever had brought her.
She tried to move again feeling cold restraints on her wrists now, they made a small clank noise that echoed through the small room she must be in. She decided it best she not move in case whoever had her locked up didn't come to her. She decided to concentrate on sounds and smells, immediately regretting it as the smells of an unclean bathroom and mold. She could hear dripping water not too far away and felt a small draft against her body, she dared open her eyes and saw what looked like a medieval dungeon complete with chains and stones. She peeked over towards the hushed voices and could make out a shorter hooded figure standing by two taller figures wearing... armor?! One was obviously male, his broad shoulders and figure said as much but the other armored figure could maybe pass as a dude if she tried. She looked around more and saw another figure sitting on his knees in the middle of the room. She was feeling like it should all be familiar to her, she knew it was as it tugged at the small corners of her mind. But as she stared at the figure in the middle of the room another figure entered the small space and that's when everything crumbled. The tugging in her mind tore it all down and realization hit her. Dragon Age.
She stared at the tall slender figure of the one being that had recently held all that she was in the palm of his hand without ever having known it.
"Have neither of them woken yet?" The new figure asks not caring if it could wake other sleeping prisoner. Oh his voice, she craved to hear him speak more. But then of course,
"I've not noticed either stirring, then again these two have been busy arguing about what to do about them so I've sadly not paid them my full attention." The hooded figure responded before either of the armored figures could.
She peeked back at the figure on in the middle of the floor and saw a small spark of green, even with his back to her she knew he must have winced. In the game the player's character felt pain when the sparks happened. She dared not look back up at the figure and dared not speak his name, she feared she'd wake but feared this place just as much. Was she stuck here? A dream of another world like so many of the fandoms she'd read? She knew this wasn't going to just work out because why not, even if this was her dream. She heard footsteps and realized she'd zoned out and her thoughts had drained out the sound of the others talking. She quickly closed her eyes and tried not to hold her breath as someone knelt beside her, their hand touched her forehead ever so gently and brushed back loose strands of hair. The smell is what gave the someone away, that smell of wood and old books. She knew who it was and had to hold back opening her eyes or leaning into his touch, the very one she'd spent many a late nights trying so hard to dream about.
"Do you think they will not notice you're awake da'len?" The voice whispered to her, oh she know it was to her. And she just about died on the spot at his voice addressing her.
She dared open one eye to peak up at him and a whimper escaped her lips as his eyes stared into hers, his eyes were the most beautiful pair she'd ever seen with the blues and purples swirling in his eyes. They were tired, he looked so tired and curious. She knew why he was tired, and now she was slightly terrified he'd suddenly know. It's not like he could read minds so she quickly pushed all 'Iknoweverythingaboutyou' thoughts before he could even get a whiff. As she had some strange inner battle he continued to sit and wait for some response from her, she saw pain in his eyes and remembered her whimper. Did he think she was scared of him? She knew he knew she was completely innocent, he knew such of the Inquis-Herald as well. He wasn't Inquisitor yet.
She tried to speak and squeaked out, "I-I-I was hoping I could think of s-something before they d-did." She realized that wasn't what he'd expected. The truth? He cleared his throat and she was sure he meant to alert the others of her being awake when a deep breath followed by a groan was heard from the man in the middle of the prison floor. He moved to check on the groaner and as he left her side he glanced back at her once more before moving on to a more important target.
The armored woman moved to examine the man on the floor and said something she couldn't catch, she was too busy trying to check her body and was not too happy with was she saw. Cuts and bruised across everything she could see, burns too and to her embarrassment she was had a blanket wrapped around her and could see the pink fabric of her nightgown sticking out in places. She also noticed her legs didn't have the dark specs of hair that she'd been knocking herself around trying to remember to shave. She also noticed her hair was not blonde at it's tips and was her deep brown minus the crazy curls. It was as straight and smooth as it was whenever she got around to using the hair straightener. She felt her memories from the real world still there in her mind, hazy but there. But this meant she still remembered all that could and would transpire in this dream-world. As she tried to sift through her thoughts she was suddenly aware of eyes on her, she peeked up to see the eyes that had just moments ago been staring into her very soul.
"Solas.." She whispered his name and quickly regretted this as his eyes widened then quickly narrowed and his brows furrowing. He looked as thought he quite wished to come back to her and question her but instead he turned his attention back towards the other three in the room. Cassandra, Leliana and Cullen. They were all there, still? She remembered Cullen and Solas not being here when the Inquis-Herald woke. How was her being here going to affect he events? All four of the figures turned towards her, Cassandra took several quick steps and grabbed her swiftly pulling her up. The movement hurt everything in her body but she willed the pain away as she tried to stabilize herself. She peeked over at Solas wishing he could save her but knew better, she was sure at this point she was of little interest to him. Her thoughts came to a sudden halt as Cassandra shook her slightly, she let out another whimper and looked over at Cassandra wide eyed.
"The Conclave is destroyed and everyone who attended is dead, everyone but you two." Cassandra paused before continuing, "And yet you seem quite different from the other one, people say he carried you out of the rift." She started to look slightly angry at the silence so she continued, "Do you remember what happened?"
She shook her head and let out a strange 'meep' noise as Cassandra somewhat dragged her around to drop her in front of their other prisoner, she took a look at him and noticed he was more manly than she'd expected. Handsome and manly like Cullen not like Blackwall, which made her wonder if he was stern or witty. Her mind was pulled from any thoughts as Cassandra growled and stormed out of the room slamming the door behind her, taking a look around she quickly realized the guards had circled her and the man on with their weapons up. This was the scene from the game, he should wake shortly and get them out of this silly mess. The anchor sparked to life again squeezing another quiet groan from him. She prayed to no one and nothing in particular hoping this would work out, she didn't want to die not like this. On a prison floor rotting away or out in public in just her nightgown.. Either way it wasn't an option so she just sat there uncomfortably and waited for the new Herald to awaken and become just that.
Hehehehehe, kay so this is all what I imagine could happen? I try to stay true to the games choices and quotes and events and blah blah blah, but I do obviously have to change a thing or two here and there to make up for the fact a whole new something kinda just landed in the middle of it all?
Like I said before, please be patient with me and don't be too mad with my grammar blargs. <3
Chapter 3: The Awakening
The Herald awakens and brings Kate on a whole new ride of frustration and fear threatens to drag her down down down..
Her life was changing and she dared grab at everything in case she were to wake up at any moment.
Kate knew dozing was a bad idea but as she just sat there in a position that offered no comfort with her legs going numb, she figured let sleep come maybe it'll tell her things like if this was a dream or if.. just maybe.. it was somehow real. Her eyelids drooped and finally she let them shut, as she sat there drifting away she felt this clawing sensation in the back of her mind. It was like someone was trying to crawl in, like a spider crawling through a crack or something. It didn't feel good but it didn't feel terrible maybe she could open the space so the clawing didn't feel so uncomfortable..
BANG! The noise shocked her nerves and her eyes flew open to see the only Cassandra and Leliana saunter in looking more angry as real people than the game could have ever portrayed. It was then she saw they were looking at her then back down at.. the Herald! He was awake and groaning in pain as the Anchor sparked to life violently. He opened his eyes with obvious effort and the first thing he saw as he looked up was Kate, scantly clad in a nightgown and a blanket oddly wrapped around her. Realization struck when he recognized her as the heap of life he'd saved. He offered a gentle smile knowing the two of them were most likely equally misunderstood in whatever strange and messed up situation this was. She most certainly knew he was innocent, so far from guilty as could be and yet at this very moment it helped no one. She heard footsteps close in quickly and knew it was most likely Cassandra, as she glanced up she was painfully correct. Cassandra reached out and grabbed the man across from me and started in.
“Tell me why we shouldn’t kill you now. The Conclave is destroyed. Everyone who attended is dead. Except for you two." Cassandra all but screams in his face.
He looks up at her then back at me and remains silent, which only causes Cassandra to growl and pull him slightly up to her. She grabs his manacles and holds them up as the Anchor flares to life again. “Explain this!” She yells holding onto his manacles tightly.
He looks up at her then quickly back down at the Anchor, “I... can’t.”
“What do you mean, you can’t?“ Cassandra is getting angrier which honestly didn't seem possible.
But the man responded quickly, "I don’t know what that is or how it got there.” He glanced away looking over at Kate obviously hoping she could jump in with something, and soon. But she couldn't, couldn't risk some giant mess up or worse.. her own death. She shook her head apologetically as Cassandra started yelling at him again.
Cassandra drops his manacles and moves to strike him, “You’re lying!” She yells as Leliana steps in.
“We need him, Cassandra.” Leliana says softly and turns to Kate. Oh no, this wasn't part of the game. Leliana takes a step towards her and leans down, "You're awfully quiet for someone who might be to blame just as much as your compatriot." She says smoothly to her most likely hoping to instill fear.
"I don't remember how I got here, I don't remember anything about the Conclave." She says in a small voice letting tears fall. She glances over to the man in an equally frustrating situation and he furrows his brows looking like he's trying to decide between interfering or letting them have at her a bit. Finally as Leliana reaches out he speaks up.
“So what happens now?” He says trying to keep the aggravation from his voice.
Leliana turns her head to him but doesn't leave me, “Do you remember what happened? How this began?” she asks in a calm voice.
“I remember running. Things were chasing me. And then... a woman? She.. I saw this girl curled up and breathing. I remember.. just.. I grabbed her and ran” He looked like he was struggling so hard and she knew why he couldn't remember. It must be worse having jumbled memories and then adding her into the picture. She waited and listened but the dialog had changed a bit and now more.
Cassandra spoke up now, “Go to the forward camp, Leliana. I will take them to the rift.”
Them. She was being forced too? Why? She didn't have the Anchor? Leliana nods and quickly heads for the door opening it only to glance back then rush out. Kate looked back at the man and knows she must look scared because for a short moment he does too. “What did happen?” he suddenly says.
Cassandra nods her head at our manacles and guards remove them only to replace them with rope, she's grabbed by a guard as Cassandra grabs the Herald's. “It will be easier to show you.” She huffs and drags him to the door with me being pulled not far behind. As she exits out into the cold she sees the Herald already staring at the sky, she knows the breach is there and is scared to look at first. After a moment she glances up and hears Cassandra start up again, “We call it the Breach. It’s a massive rift into the world of demons that grows larger with each passing hour. It’s not the only such rift, just the largest. All were caused by the explosion at the conclave.” Cassandra glances back at at Kate for just a moment before returning he attention to the Herald.
He responds while still staring up at the Breach, “An explosion can do that?”
“This one did. Unless we act, the breach may grow until it swallows the world.” she answers sadly.
The breach makes a rumbling noise and grows slightly, Kate knew what this was and her eyes shoot to him just as he topples over in pain. Cassandra bends down to him some pity showing on her face, “Each time the Breach expands, your mark spreads... and it is killing you. It may be the key to stopping this but there isn’t much time.”
Kate felt slightly ignored but knew she bore no mark making her special and knew it might be for the best. She sees him think for a moment then looks up at Cassandra, “So if I do what you want, will I live through it?”
“We have no way of knowing.” Cassandra responds glumly before pulling him to his feet, and tugs him towards the gates but he doesn't budge. Cassandra looks back at him frustrated ready for more anger surely only to follow his gaze. Cassandra looks to Kate as well and they all seem to suddenly realize she stands there in undergarments and a blanket. Cassandra blushes and coughs, "I do suppose you'll need some armor or something to cover you properly." She barks some commands, two guards run off shortly returning with some clothes And untie her ropes. "Step back in the door and change." Is all she says and stands there waiting.
Kate turns and rushes back into the dungeon area and throws on the pants and strange loose and over sized tunic. It was all warmer than it looked which was a great relief, she threw on the long sock like things and pulls the boots on hoping they were warmer than they looked. She huffed a sigh and stepped back out into the cold crisp air. All eyes turned to her and a guard ties up her arms once more. As they're pulled through town she becomes acutely aware of all eyes on the two of them, and it pains her somewhat. She couldn't tell if she should care or not, if this was real or just all a strangely vivid dream. She hears Cassandra ahead, “They have decided your guilt. They need it. The people of Haven mourn our Most Holy, Divine Justinia, head of the Chantry. The Conclave was hers. It was a chance for peace between mages and templars. She brought their leaders together. Now, they are dead.” She hears the gates ahead grind open and a sense of dread rolls in. “We lash out, like the sky. But we must think beyond ourselves, as she did. Until the breach is sealed.” Cassandra continues then pulls out a dagger cutting out bonds swiftly and not happily. “There will be a trial. I can promise no more.” She says with her brows pulling together. "Now, come. It is not far."
There are tears threatening to break forth at the fear of more pain, demons for real and Solas... She feared Solas. She barely heard the Herald speak, “Where are you taking us?" He asks with his browns furrowed glancing back at Kate.
“Your mark must be tested on something smaller than the Breach.” Cassandra answered matter of factly. "As for the elf she I'd prefer not letting out of my site, she may be equally involved and equally guilty. It's best she not be left here."
Kate stopped walking for a moment, Cassandra said ELF. She slowly lifts her hands up to ears and surely enough... pointed ears.
Ok so I know this chapter really was just the main game bit but I figured it was a good way to introduce Kate into it all as cleanly as possible.
As close to the actual events following the games story to start with.
Obviously her being there will change much, but it has to start out the same if I'm to get desired effects, right?
Comments and tips are always welcome!
ALSO! Thank you so much for the Kudos!!!! <3
Chapter 4: Damn Rifts and Snow
Kate knew at some point someone was gonna figure out she was way more fucked up then any of them could even come close to understanding, well maybe Solas.
She wanted to spend all her time romancing him but had no idea how it would go seeing as she knew everything the game and wikis would let her. Which in her opinion wasn't much, maybe there was more here? More real.. More more.
The struggle with being something she isn't and trying to be someone she wants to be was hard enough in a world she was born into and more so in a world of her once believed dreams.
Kate took a deep breath as she watched the Herald guy fall once more, his breathing was worse and she could see sweat dripping from his face. She could only imagine the pain he was in and knew now it was far worse in this real world than could have been portrayed in the game. The third time he fell she ran up to him and held onto him, holding him by his broad shoulders. Cassandra coughs behind us and yells “The pulses are coming faster now. The larger the Breach grows, the more rifts appear, the more demons we face.” This caused the man to stand as quickly as he could, he somehow decided to hold her hand along the way and looked down at her with a smile before replying, “How did we survive the blast?"
“They said you... stepped out of a rift holding this girl, then fell unconscious. They say another woman was in the rift behind you. No one knows who she was. Everything farther in the valley was laid waste, including the Temple of Sacred Ashes. I suppose you’ll see soon enough.” There was immense sadness in the Seekers voice and she knew how much love and admiration Cassandra had for Justinia.
Kate looks ahead oh them hearing shouts and broken scream of terror, she could see the bridge now and shivers pass up and down her spine. They were about to fall and she knew it was going to hurt, bad. She took a few small steps and almost fell behind the man she was connected to, as she fell in line beside him she squeezed his hand and closed her eyes.
There was a loud booming noise again and she could feel the area around them vibrate, she gripped the hand she was holding tighter as they began to feel the ground beneath their feet crumble and give way. She heard nothing but her own heartbeat as she once more tumbled down losing the hand she'd felt steadied her. She knew they were falling down onto the frozen river below. Squeezing her eyes shut helped no one, not even herself but she felt like everything might get put on hold if she squeezed them tight enough. This was no the case, she could feel the pain kick in as all her bruises deepened and her cuts reopened. She could more crashing and and ground shakes once more she knew The Breach was spitting out more meteors filled with horrors. She opens her eyes and watches as one hits the frozen river a short distance in front of the three of them and a Shade forms in a pool of green light.
They were far worse looking then could ever have been truly imagined for real. Black and green slime oozed off their bodies, they were covered feathers and scales. She looked around to see if anymore decided it was a good time to crawl forward, luck was on their side and none other than the two ahead were around. Cassandra draws her sword and barks, “Stay behind me!” and races forward to greet their new company. As Cassandra starts striking one the other notices the her and the man beside of her, he doesn't hesitate as he looks around grabbing the sword on the ground to his left. He glances back at her and makes a shooing motion she figured meant stay back. She had no idea what to do, she didn't no if she was a mage and as badly as she'd always wanted to learn archery she hadn't. So she really was of absolutely no help as of this moment.
So that meant standing there like a child with her arms wrapped around herself as the other two fought off demons. Cassandra was the first to finish and as she did she then swung her body around to face her two 'prisoners' only to watch the man slay his own. “It’s over.” he mumbled and looked over to Cassandra as she rushed towards him and lifted her sword to him, “Drop your weapon. Now.” she ordered him.
Kate stood there glaring at Cassandra fighting a roll of her eyes at one of the games stupidest lines ever. She slowly made her way forward to stand beside him as he answered, “If you’re going to lead us through a demon-infested valley, you’ll have to trust me with a weapon.” He glanced down at Kate most likely checking to see if she was wielding a weapon of any sort.
“Give me one reason to trust either of you.” Cassandra answered glaring at the both of them.
“Because our lives are on the line as well.” He answered with a glare.
Cassandra sighed loudly, hesitating only for a moment before sheathing her sword and nodding, “You’re right. I cannot protect both of you at the same time, and I cannot expect you to be defenseless.” She glanced over at Kate, her turn to check for a weapon and lifted a questioning eyebrow, "No weapon? I am permitting one for now. Since your lives are threatened enough as it is.”
Kate stood there and lowered her gaze to her feet, "I'm afraid I don't know how to wield any weapons, I've never.. Been taught." She felt silly being in a world where she figured even children were taught the basics at an early age. Cassandra lifted both eyebrows now in surprise but simply nodded and turned back to face the road ahead. She took a few steps forward then stopped to turn back and pulled out a few small flasks, “Take these potions. Maker knows what we will face.”
Kate felt so dumb just standing there without a weapon and barely having spoken, maybe she could act semi mute like in one of the fandoms she'd read.. And figured someone would catch on sooner or later. “Where are all your soldiers?” She asked as she noticed the man beside had begun to open his mouth, most likely to ask the very question she'd just asked.
“At the forward camp, or fighting. We are on our own, for now.” Cassandra replied coldly before grunting a quick, "More demons ahead!"
Kate stood there and let them race ahead knowing she was still, of little to no use. She took slow steps forward hoping nothing noticed her, as she made her way around the river and the fighting she saw another green thing crawl up out of the ground and made a small shrieking sound. It had noticed her. She could hear Cassandra and the man fighting already as they barked 'flank' here and 'flank' there at each other. She backed away eyes focused on the pile of horror and could almost smell the putrid smell she'd caught in when she'd first tumbled into this mess. It made it's towards her and she made her way around inching towards the two who actually had weapons, the sounds around her began dimming as the sound of her own heartbeat thudded louder than anything else around her. It inched closer to her faster than she was able to move towards her two companions and started to freak out a bit until a sword sliced clean through the top of it's head.
"Come on, they’re falling from the Breach! We need to get up the hill!” She focused on the voice and the hand tugging at her own arm, it was the Cassandra. She let Cassandra drag her towards the said hill and focused on her thudding heart. She just stood there as more demons were defeated and more rolled in, taken a handful of steps before being stopped then dragged on. She just followed and nodded when orders were barked, feeling more and more useless but had no idea on how to fix it.
“We’re getting close to the rift. You can hear the fighting.” Cassandra's voice snapped her out of her negative thoughts and reminded her of their destination. She also felt the blush rise to her face as she remembered those that awaited them at the top of these stairs. She was so into her thoughts of the tall slender elf that she barely caught the Herald shout, “Who’s fighting?”
“You’ll see soon. We must help them.” Cassandra shouted back as she somewhat dragged Kate up the stairs. She could hear the thudding of her heart grow dimmer as the sounds of fighting grew louder.
As they reached the top of the stairs they rounded the corner and could see a small group of.. scouts? Along with the dwarf and, "Solas." She breathed and started moving faster no longer being dragged. As though in that very moment he'd heard her his eyes darted up meeting hers. Confusion and questions quite visible in his eyes, he held her gaze for just a moment longer before returning to the demon in front of him. She hadn't realized she'd just been standing there gaping at him till she looked around to see the other two of her companions had joined in on the fighting.
She watched as the last of the demons are defeated and saw Solas shout something at her male companion pulling his hand up to the rift, 'Quickly, before more come through!'. She'd remembered the line as the rift started shaking and imploded on itself. Black and green ooze flying everywhere. She hurried herself up to them standing far enough out of reach but close enough to catch the conversation start up, “What did you do?” he'd ask.
“I did nothing. The credit is yours.” Answered Solas with the false friendly smile.
“I closed that thing? How?” he'd answer his eyes flying open in surprise, he stared at his hand in awe.
She knew lies were flying out of Solas as he spoke up, “Whatever magic opened the Breach in the sky also placed that mark upon your hand. I theorized the mark might be able to close the rifts that have opened in the Breach’s wake – and it seems I was correct.” Lies. He knew what he'd done. But she could almost care less, he was possibly her biggest enemy and possible ally.
Cassandra jumps in at this point, “Meaning it could also close the Breach itself?" She asks hopefully.
Solas looks to her as though he is thinking before answering, “Possibly.” Sneaky bastard, sneaky handsome bastard. He turns back to glowy hand man and simply states, “It seems you hold the key to our salvation.” And looks back to Kate eyeing her carefully. Blush rises once more to her face, the cold barely bothering her hot face now. She takes more steps to close the distance between her and the rest of the group not wanting to be forgotten.
“Good to know! Here I thought we’d be ass-deep in demons forever.” The little dwarfs voice starts up. “Varric Tethras: rogue, storyteller, and occasionally unwelcome tagalong.” He says with the most cheerful voice. Which is extra strange now being in this situation for real, in the game it was entertaining yet here.. like he was scared to take it serious. With that Varric winks at Cassandra, who scowls down at him.
She did almost giggle as she heard the reply from the Herald, “That’s… a nice crossbow you have there.”
Varric all but strokes his crossbow, “Ah, isn’t she? Bianca and I have been through a lot together.”
“You named your crossbow Bianca?” she heard a snicker follow the question.
“Of course. And she’ll be great company in the valley.” and then Cassandra cut in as Kate expected, “Absolutely not. Your help is appreciated, Varric, but…” Varric cut back in, “Have you been in the valley lately, Seeker? Your soldiers aren’t in control anymore. You need me.” Cassandra grunts and groans momentarily but nods.
“My name is Solas, if there are to be introductions. I’m pleased to see you still live.” He presents himself with another false friendly smile with his dumb smooth sexy voice. Kate was all but drooling at this point. Then the game surprised her, "My name is Malik Trevelyan." Glowy hand Herald had a name that the game had never brought up. It was like it simply popped up and all knew it but.. wow.
They turned to her as she was gawking at Malik, "And do you have a name elf?" Varric asked eyeing her curiously. "I uh.. mm.." She was uncertain how to proceed and remembered being an elf, in her last playthrough she'd looked up Elvhen words and meanings settling on, "Nehna." She said with the biggest smile she could muster.
Solas looked bewildered at first then a smile an creeped ever so slightly onto his lips. "Are you Dalish?" Cassandra asked with a hint of curiosity. Kate had no idea, did she have vallaslin? Or was she unmarked? As she battled the answer Solas cut back in with his smooth voice, "I doubt she is dalish, she bears no vallaslin." Oh. "I am quite curious as to why being a mage you carry no staff though?" He's asking her, why would she know something like.. a mage? She's a mage. She didn't feel magey.
"I'm not a mage." She says suddenly tilting her head in confusion.
"I'm sure you are, I can feel it. Were you not taught? No circle?" He seemed almost more confused than herself. "Uh.. no? I uhm.. I don't.. ugh." All she could do was grunt in confusion.
"I hate to cut in but-" A groan of pain erupted from Malik as he fell to the ground in pain. Right, he was kinda dying. Solas pulled Malik to his feet and turned to Cassandra, “We must move quickly.”
She nodded and pointed down the side of that familiar path, “This way, down the bank. The road ahead is blocked.”
Off they went as wobbled forward still running 'mage' through her head again and again. Solas said mage, she was a mage. How... Was he sure? She felt someones eyes piercing into her as her inner battle of confusion rumbled on. She dared peek up and glance around to find Solas walking beside her, watching her. "Who are you?" are the words she saw slip out of his mouth.
Ok so I'm hoping there are no I's, me's or any other oopsies as such.
This one was longer, thank goodness! And more will come, I'm playing the game and getting a better feel for which direction I'll be dragged along here. Hope you all have patience!
Also, like OMG thank you all for the helpful comments, kudos and bookmarks already!
(I know it's hard, the romance will come, I promise. Like I'd leave the good shit out!!)
Chapter 5: Elf, Mage and I.
Now having to deal with being a whole new race along with having some latent magical abilities hidden within her, she has to deal with how to deal with, Solas. She's peaked his interest and he's sure to feel hers soon enough.
She knows her light is fading and must tell someone, and who she tells could end her swiftly.
Fen'Harel, oh may the Dread Wolf not take her yet.
She could hear some sort of conversation going on ahead as she and Solas tread through the snow side by side. His question still lingering in her mind, unanswered. 'Who are you?'. How does she even answer that? She'd told them her name, why ask again? No, she knew he wasn't after her name, he was after her.
"Uh what?" She manages to look away from his eyes.
"You are a mystery to me. You have no vallaslin and you say you are no city elf, where were you brought up? Where is your family?" He let the questions roll out his curiosity was dangerous to her.
She had no idea how to respond, lie? She knew enough to throw in a story but she had no idea if it would work.. did she even want to lie to him? "I don't remember much. I-I know I had a family. But I can't put names to the blurred faces." She looked back up at his face, he was trying to read hers. "I uh.. I only remember waking up and being unable to move, apparently Malik found me inside a rift and pulled me out." She stated watching more curiosity light up his face.
"You have no other memories prior to waking in the cells?" He asked carefully.
"I uh.. uhm.. I can't call them memories I think. I just.. feelings and small images I guess?" She says, maybe she can use that 'seer' thing she'd read in fanfics. Somehow get him to trust her? Or the other way around.
"What kind of feelings and images?" He asks smoothly, why does everything coming out of his mouth sound like silk?
"Things I'm pretty sure aren't my own memories or something like that. I can't pull them together, it's like trying to grab at water. It just slips away the harder I try.." She says speaking the truth slightly, the harder she tried to grab onto her memories of her real life they blurred further along with how she got here in the first place. That was still something bugging her, there was absolutely nothing there.
"I see." Was all he said before peeling his eyes away from her to look forward. She followed his gaze the Malik, the Anchor flaring a bit. She could hear him gasp but kept himself moving. “My magic cannot stop the mark from growing further. For your sake, I suggest we hurry.” He directs it to Malik but he seemed to be miles away in his own mind. Poor thing.
Varric speaks up getting Malik's attention, “So... are you innocent?”
“I don’t remember what happened.” He glances back towards Kate-Nehna and Varric follows his gaze back to Kate-Nehna.
"And you little miss?" Varric asks slowing down a step to be beside her as well, she could suddenly feel Solas eyes on her.
"I uh.. as I said to Solas a moment ago I can't remember either... sorry." She offers an apologetic smile and Varric smiles back to her. It was then she realized she wasn't much taller than Varric and Solas was over a head taller than her. Were all elvhen females this short? She couldn't remember her characters being this much shorter than him. They didn't have to tip toe to kiss him like she would.. She felt her eyes travel to his lips, they were a tad chapped but looked as soft as could be. Full and-
"That’ll get you every time. One of you should have spun a story.” Varric brings her back to the present conversation, blush flashes to her face and leaves her feeling dizzy.
“That’s what you would have done.” Cassandra says obviously annoyed with him.
“It’s more believable, and less prone to result in premature execution.” He says sounding slightly annoyed in return but still leaning for humor.
She grunts and mumbles, “I hope Leliana made it through all this.” and knows Varric replies with, “She’s resourceful, Seeker.” and then the typical conversation moves along. She contemplates looking back to Solas but could feel the heat in her face still there and knew looking would only cause it to rise further. She nearly trips as Cassandra shouts, “Another rift!”
Solas moves swiftly away from her to join Malik at the front, “We must seal it, quickly!”
She sees people fighting ahead of them and watches someone turn to them and shout, “They keep coming! Help us!” As the words leave his mouth Malik rushes forward blade out and ready. All she can do is stand there off to the back watching them all a whack here and slash there. After a moment Solas rushes to Malik's side shouting at him, “Hurry! Use the mark!”
Malik lifts his hand as Solas had previously and watches a cord of green light connect and wrap itself around the rift, Malik winces and yanks his hand back and the rift makes a sort of popping noise with the same black and green goop sloshing everywhere. Ew.
She could hear everyone was out of breath but Cassandra stands straight and shouts orders for the gate to open, she hears responses and the gates peel open. She watches Solas stand and speak to Malik, “We are clear for the moment. Well done.” He then turns back to Kate-Nehna, their eyes meet and he holds her there as he takes long smooth steps towards her. She could hear Varric speak to Malik but she's to focused on Solas. His eyes burn into hers as he stop in front of her and moves to the side lifting his hand in a 'move along' motion. Or maybe 'after you'? He wasn't an open book and she wasn't great at emotions and understanding body language. So she nodded and smiled up at him before taking steps forward, she didn't hear him for a moment but suddenly he was at her side walking at her careful pace.
She watches Cassandra lead Malik up to where Leliana and.. that Roderick guy are doing the typical arguing. Solas grabs her arm stopping her from continuing forward, to stay behind with him and Varric. She wasn't to unhappy with it, she could feel the heat from his hand through her sleeve. She dared sneak a peek up at him and saw he was staring down at her with frustration and curiosity still burning in them. This wasn't like anything in the game, she had no idea how to proceed so she simply smiled and nodded getting comfortable with her current standing position. "Uh, so the whole mage thing.. Are you sure?" She asks wiggling her toes in her boots.
"Yes, there is no doubt. I more unsure as to why you haven't known before now. You are far too old for it to suddenly be surfacing now." He states as though he knows her age. She wasn't old.. or well he was right. She knew children in the game got it early on, generally before puberty so he was right.
"I uh, I wasn't raised around it. So I didn't even think it was real." She says, quite truthful. She figured she had to be careful about lies, he might be able to tell and she wasn't capable of intricate lies. They tended to bite her in the ass. She watched as his brows furrowed and his lips parted for a sigh to escape. Had she upset him? Oh! She was an elf and he kinda meant to destroy this world because he thinks he ruined it and yea, right. "I was raised by humans maybe?" She questions quickly only realizing it didn't make anything better. He only sighed more and nodded in understanding.
He opens his mouth to say something but closes it quickly and looks over to where Malik and Cassandra stood looking very frustrated. She knew they were discussing the mountain path or the charging path and suddenly was curious as to which way he intended. She was not to intrigued by the idea of climbing those ladders through the mountain but didn't want to leave the soldiers to die. At that Malik threw his arms up and pointed shook his head. He looks to Kate-Nehna and the others motioning them to join him. "We're just charging on through with the soldiers, I don't have long to dally and climb some mountain. You guys are with us apparently." He turns and everyone grabs some more little potions and heads out to follow Malik.
The party climbs uphill in the snow while soldiers jog forward with their weapons drawn, the main group sticks to a quick march across the path. At the end of the path they head up some crumbling stairs, she could see now corpses and people spread out across the open space. She moved quickly to walk beside Solas afraid to be on her own, she'd seen bodies before just not like.. this. She looked up to Solas and felt blush surface as he glances down at her questions in his eyes. She had to hold back the temptation to grab his hand, she hated walking next to people and not hold onto them. She knew she'd just freak him out or anger him. She couldn't blame him, little elf mage grabbing his hand, yep would creep her out too. She hadn't realized she'd zoned out until she felt his hand brush her shoulder. Her head snapped back up and she saw, pity in his eyes? No. What was that? She offered him a smile knowing it was sadder and more scared than she'd meant but she couldn't help it. He nodded and before we left the tented area he grabbed a staff handing it to her.
"Uh, you sure that's the wisest decision?" She asks him feeling a smile at her lips, magic oh gods yes please. He nodded and as he handed it to her he spoke up, "I can't- we can't expect you to just stand behind us doing nothing, unprotected." She nods and holds onto the staff tightly. He turned to the group and shouts, “Be wary – another Fade rift.”
As they approach the doorway up the stairs, a meteor hits a running soldier and throws his body down the stairs. Which was far worse seeing it happen as his body is struck it bursts, parts of him fly in all directions and she nearly empties her stomach right then and there. Everyone stops for a moment but quickly regains themselves pushing on. They all head through the doorway and watches a Shade slice at a soldier. She pulls her eyes away from his mangled body only to find there are scattered bones in the area all around her. Her stomach threatens once more to empty itself, of what though? She'd not eaten in... hours? Days? How long had she now been..
“How many rifts are there?” Varric's voice snaps her out of it and she looks up seeing the armored figure from the cells, Cullen! He slices down a demon and looks over at us relief flooding his face.
“We must seal it if we are to get past!” Solas shouts and rushes back to Kate-Nehna's side, she hadn't even noticed him leave.
Cassandra shouts back, directing it at Malik. “Quickly, then!” Malik moves forward but has to bounce back as the rift spits out more demons. Even though they'd been caught off guard they all moved swiftly, once the demons were dealt with Malik moves forward once more repeating his previous rift closing process. Solas stays by Kate-Nehna's side but speaks up with another one of his false smiles, “Sealed, as before. You are becoming quite proficient at this.”
“Let’s hope it works on the big one.” Varric's voice pitches in sounding hopeful.
Cullen strides up to their group and nods at Cassandra, “Lady Cassandra, you managed to close the rift? Well done.” but Cassandra quickly retorts, “Do not congratulate me, Commander. This is the prisoner’s doing.” and nods off towards Malik.
“Is it? I hope they’re right about you. We’ve lost a lot of people getting you here.” He huffs a slight glare in Malik's direction as well.
“I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try my best.” Malik says with a small smile.
Cullen ignores it completely and jumps in with another frustrated comment. “That’s all we can ask. Now, the way to the temple should be clear. Leliana will try to meet you there.” He says directing his attention to Cassandra. “Then we’d best move quickly. Give us time, Commander.” She says standing tall.
They push further and she hears Cullen behind them, “Maker watch over you – for all our sakes.”
She stands as close to Solas as she can without causing any obvious discomfort to him, “The Temple of Sacred Ashes.” he breathes as they near the ruins.
“What’s left of it.” Varric mumbles gruffly.
Cassandra lifts her hand and motions to a spot in the rubble, “That is where you walked out the Fade carrying Nehna and our soldiers found you. They said a woman was in the rift behind you. No one knows who she was.” She says solemnly.
They move on quickly as Malik grunts in pain, and Varric speaks up, “The breach is a long way up.”
They all spin as footsteps are heard from behind only to find it's Leliana with some soldiers. “You’re here! Thank the Maker.” She looks as though she'd love to hug Cassandra but stay as she is. “Leliana, have your men take up positions around the temple.” Cassandra addresses her. Leliana nods and hurries off to give directions. Cassandra turns back to Malik with a more serious face, “This is your chance to end this. Are you ready?”
Malik nods, “I’m assuming you have a plan to get me up there.” He waves his hand toward the Breach and as he does Solas takes a step away from Kate-Nehna and speaks up.
“No. This rift was the first and is the key. Seal it, and perhaps we seal the Breach.”
Cassandra nods looking hopeful, “Then let’s find a way down. And be careful.” She's planted firmly where she is and for a moment think everyone's forgotten about the tiny useless elf, but then Solas turns and motions Kate-Nehna to follow him but her feet won't move. His brows furrow and he takes a step towards her reaching his hand out. She feels her cheeks are wet but ignores it hoping it's the snow, she slowly reaches a shaking hand out to him. He grips her hand tightly and pulls her with him whispering some words she only figures is Elvhen.
"Stay close to me and focus on me, don't leave my side." He breathes into her ear and all she can do is nod. Useless little elf, why bring her? As he takes a step he squeezes her hand intending on releasing but she squeezes tightly fully aware he may be uncomfortable but could care less. "Da'len I need both my hands." He says soundly slightly frustrated. She decides it's best she let go, so she does, only to grab a hold of his tunic thing. He sighs and obviously considers urging her off him completely but shakes his head and moves forward. They both turn to see the group had continued a few steps ahead and was quick to catch up, as they neared the breach there were loud sounds swirling in the air.
A voice she knew all too well speaks the words she'd heard so many times, “Now is the hour of our victory. Bring forth the sacrifice.” Corypheus. She stiffens and pictures his 3d game face becoming real and can't. It scares her too much. She is suddenly very aware of eyes dancing between Malik and herself before Cassandra shouts, “What are we hearing?”
Solas looks down at her and slowly answers, “At a guess: The person who created the Breach.” She stares up at his eyes challenging his words, knowing he knew full well who and how. His eyes open slightly shocked but pulls his gaze away from hers. They continue along the path and pick up pace passing several glowing bits of red lyrium sprouting out of the ground.
“You know this stuff is red lyrium, Seeker.” Varric says in a small voice. “I see it, Varric.” Cassandra counters only to receive another question from Varric. “But what it’s doing here?”
She could feel Solas slow for a moment to glance at the lyrium but picks up pace once more, “Magic could have drawn on lyrium beneath the temple, corrupted it...”
“It’s evil. Whatever you do don’t touch it.” Varric says sternly.
Another set of rumbling noises are heard and Corypheus's voice break out once more, “Keep the sacrifice still.” His voice was so much more frightening as it echoes through the world around her rather than from headphones. She could hear another voice shout out. “Someone help me!” Justinia. Cassandra picks up on it fast and sounds anxious, “That is Divine Justinia’s voice!” She looks as though she'd like to run forward and search for her but stays with the group. The reach the stairs and rush down them. More skulls and bones litter the rubble around them, that same burnt flesh stench rises once more. The stairs come to an end and they're forced to jump over the side of a wall, once they land more rumbling begins and Malik groans as his hand flares to life and pain flashes across his face.
“Someone help me!” More Justinia, then to her surprise her voice. “What’s going on here?” Then followed by Maliks, "Stop!"
“That was your voices. Most Holy called out to you. But...” Cassandra's eyes darted between Malik and her, Kate-Nehna moved closer to Malik. As she took steps forward Solas moved with her. She saw flashes of white and then suddenly there is a bright flash of white light, then ghostly images appear. She could see Divine Justinia floating while being held in place by red energy wrapped around her arms. A large dark figure with glowing red eyes looms over her. Just like in the game, but she can't see him clearly. She knows what- she should know what he looks like. She can't- why is he a dark figure why can't she...
“What’s going on here?” Her voice echoes and she sees Malik grab her arm, she's wearing her night gown with a blanket wrapped around her. He looks up at Justinia and yells "Stop!" Justinia turns to them and yells, “Run while you can! Warn them!” It's then Corypheus speaks up, “We have an intruder. Kill them." There is another flash of white light and the images disappear.
“You two were there! Who attacked? And the Divine, is she…? Was this vision true? What are we seeing?” Cassandra turns to Malik and Kate-Nehna eyes filled with tears.
Malik and Kate-Nehna throw their arms up and glance at each other as they yell “I don’t remember!” Which causes everyone to go quiet for a moment, she felt tears threaten to spill and felt Solas move closer. “Echoes of what happened here. The Fade bleeds into this place.” He places a hand on her shoulder and continues, “This rift is not sealed, but it is closed… albeit temporarily. I believe with the mark, the rift can be opened and then sealed properly and safely. However, opening the rift will likely attract attention from the other side.”
Cassandra looks like she'd like to push further but nods and shouts,“That means demons. Stand ready!”
She could hear noises around her as orders were barked and re-barked. The soldiers and archers obviously readying themselves. She turns her attention to Malik as he lifts his hand up and begins the tearing of the rift, it tears with a loud indescribable sound before out pops that nasty Pride demon. Kate-Nehna feels her mouth open and quickly shuts it as not to embarrass herself further. Solas shifts slightly and lifts his staff. She's momentarily tempted to grab the ends of his tunic once more but decides to take a few steps back instead. Keeping out of the way she readies herself for any emergency jumps and rolls. She can hear Cassandra bark more orders and people shout back and around.
She can see Malik running from side to side slashing at the demon then running back and focusing his energy at the rift. She knew he was going to faint at the end of it, there was nothing she could do for him. She glanced over at Solas, he'd backed up to her hiding spot and pulled her out to him throwing a barrier around everyone. She knew he was stronger than any mage here but knew he'd only just awoken from his Uthenera. She knew he was drained already, she reached her hand out to reach him, to soothe him, anything.. She saw him spin to her as his body glowed ever so slightly a light blue. She gasped and saw her hand had the same glow, she saw him stand taller and eyes wide he reached out to her only to be halted as they heard Cassandra yell.
“Now Malik! Seal the rift!” Kate-Nehna and Solas pull their gazes away and stare as Malik throws his hand up one last time. He is slouched and his clothes are torn, she watches as he begins to seal the rift while everyone surely watches in awe as well. The thudding of her heart almost drains out Cassandra's final command. “Do it!”
The blast was big enough it knocks everyone back, as she shuts her eyes she catches a glimpse of Solas turning to her and grabbing her. She feels energy cover their bodies and gets her first taste of a barrier. She can hear him breathing soothing words into her ear, soft whispers causing shivers down her spine. After a moment of silence she dares open her eyes and sees Solas staring down at her, some sort of neutral covers up whatever his actual emotions are. "I am glad to see you are not dead, you seem to have found your magic Da'len." He says softly.
"It appears I did." She responds breathlessly. All the fanfics had it right when the writers imagined Solas causing shivers and all sorts of other feelings as elvhen words rolled off his tongue. As she stared up at him she felt heart flutter and eyelids droop, something wasn't right. Dark fuzzy edges creeped closer into her vision, she tried to push it back and felt the panic settle into the pit of her stomach. She felt words bubble out of her mouth as her vision of Solas slowly faded into darkness, "Ma halani..."
She feels a warm breeze against her skin, the darkness slowly lights up. She's on a beach, it's night but the moon is so big it illuminates everything. She hears the waves crash softly against the shore and feels at home. This was the first bit of peace since.. since what? What was causing such a disruption in her life... She suddenly could smell the sea breeze as at flowed through her hair, kissing her cheeks softly. This is where she belonged, it's where she always belonged. 'Stay' whispered her mind, 'no where you belong more' it continued. She agreed, her mind was wise. But she knew there was something waiting for her something... what was it again? A face flashed in her mind, she knew this face. Who was he? 'Da'len' whispered a new voice, one that wasn't hers. The face flashed again, and she knew it was someone she cherished once.. long.. no not long. Something wasn't right, she shouldn't be here. 'Da'len wake'. That voice, like silk in her- silk. "Solas!" She breathed the empty darkness returned.
Her eyes flashed open and sat up almost smashing her face into Solas. "Nehna!" He shouted as she attempted to throw herself out of bed. She stopped and remembered this was her, she was Nehna, not Kate. Kate was who she was... was.. when? "Nehna?" She snapped her face around to face him, she had one leg out of bed and was wrapped in a blanket still clothed.
"Uh, what?" She looks up at his face and giggles, he the wolf was worried about a tiny useless creature. Wait was he worried? "Are you worried about me?" She asks suddenly and wants to grab those words and stuff them back into her mouth as she sees his face change. Confusion followed by deep thought then back to some form of neutral. She hated that stupid neutral. "Stop it, you look dumb. Your face is dumb." She hiccups and is confused by her ability to suddenly speak. Her vision clearer than ever and so much energy in her bones.
"My face is.. dumb?" He asks eyeing her strangely. Like she was some stupid puzzle, what were those colorful cubes.. Rud.. rub.. cube.. Rubics cube! She hated those, she couldn't even manage one side. "Nehna are you alright? Are you still light headed?" She whipped her head back up at Solas, she hadn't realized her head had dropped.
"Uh, no? Kinda. My brain feels fuzzy but I'm so full of.. energy!" She says with a smile creeping across her face. No wonder he calls her Da'len. She was so childish right now, small and dumb. She had the dumb face now. She snaps her head back up as it seemed to have fallen again. "What's wrong with me?" She asks confused.
"Hamin, you're coming into your magic. I've never seen it happen at such an age.." He says curiously. "You were indeed serious when you said you didn't believe you were a mage."
She nodded, she knew what she was and wasn't. She knew where she'd been hadn't had magic, not like this. So he wasn't worried about her she was just some nut case he wanted to crack open. She wasn't crackable openable. She giggled at her stupid words. "I'm not a nut you can crack open, I'm a person. With feelings and.. feelings." She finished not finding a suitable second word. The fuzz was dying down. She gazed into his eyes as emotions flashed across his face to quickly for her to grasp.
"I don't intend on, cracking you open." He said calmly with a hint of amusement in his voice. He found her dumb and funny. Awesome.
"Good, I don't crack." She added before smiling up at him. This must have confused his because his ears turned a slight shade of pink, he coughed and turned his back to her.
"You've been asleep almost half a day, we had time to pack you and the Herald up and bring you back to Haven. I'm surprised with all the yelling and knocking about neither of you woke." He says back to his stupid neutralness again. He gives her a stupid fake smile and offers to help her out of bed.
Annoyed with his stupid fake smiles she glares at him, "Your stupid false smiles don't go unnoticed Falon." She says the elvhen word with distaste. His eyes widen with shock and surprise all at once. Then he narrows them closing the space between the two of them.
"My false smiles? Would you rather I acted harsher, I'm too tired to coddle you further then Da'len." He says his voice a low rumble. She'd never seen him angry like this, she'd seen him during.. during his spirit friend. Wisdom.
She muttered something and could pull her eyes away from his, too captivated with no answer. She saw the sorrow, frustration and.. weariness? She lifted her hand and touched his face ever so gently, she regretted it but decided to ride through it no matter. She'd seen the comfort he needed and she'd wanted to give him since she'd first seen him. He pulled away surprised and slowly his face glowed a rosy shade. Oh Fen'Harel. Solas. She knew his secret and to him she must have seemed insane, maybe she was. Should she tell him? Was that wise?
"I know many things Solas, I too am tired. But I understand the need to use your false smiles.. Sometimes a false smile here and there will.. do whatever you need it to. But I'm too tired to have them directed at me." She said adding a sigh to add to her being so tired. She looked up at him his bewilderment flashing across his face as he battled to calm himself or something. "I understand you feel the need to hide, yourself and your true feelings. Being Fen- a uh.. finished with issues and uh truthfulness I." She was babbling to cover up his secret she'd nearly released.
"Do you always babble when your attempt to make yourself understood fails?" He asks an amused smile tugging at the corners of those soft fluffy lips.
"No. Maybe. Yes." She finally admits defeat and blushes as he keeps his eyes on her. She looks around remembering they were most likely in his cabin, somewhere you never found him in..in.. in the game. Why was her mind blanking, this made no sense. She could see and feel things clearly but words and descriptions were started to get blurry. Ugh. Stupid brain.
"I'm sure you'd be quite content hiding here but you'd been on my bed, so it might be-" She cut him off with her sudden giggling. "I've been sleeping in your bed? Where did you sleep? Don't kick me out!" She huffed between her giggles. She wasn't sure where it was coming from but tears flowed down her cheeks as her giggles turned to sobs. She wished she knew what was wrong and why she was here with things not going the way she'd ever dreamed. It wasn't how she'd imagined it, when? When had she imagined it. It hurt to think to push the fog aside and reach to the back. Pulling at those threads to pull on something old and dusty was hard. They would tear and tangle. Leaving her breathless and lost.
"Nehna?" His voice snaps her out of whatever mess she was making in her head, "Nehna do you hurt somewhere?" He asks kneeling before her, confusion obvious across his face. She shook her had and he thought for a moment drawing his browns together, "I don't believe I said anything to upset you so." He says slowly and she gave him and apologetic smile. It wasn't his fault, or was it?
"I'm just so lost and feeling more and more broken, my memories are hazy and when I grab at them it's like trying to hold something.. something like water. And hold it as something solid." She tried explaining it so he can stop looking like he was blaming himself or like he should be. She felt lost but knew he must be as well. She knew everything and yet nothing at all. "If you knew something important about another, a stranger that you knew but they didn't know you back, would you tell them? Let them know you support them even though they don't know you?" She asks him carefully reading all could from his face.
"No." He after a moments silence.
"Why?" She asks not happy with the answer she got. "Would you rather lie to them the entire way and have them find out in the end? Deal with them lying to you knowing their lies all along?" She asks angrily.
"No." He says after a longer period of silence. He makes no sense. She wanted to yell at him and tell him everything. Have someone on her side, like she was on his. Maybe she could tell Malik. She knew the Inquisitor tended to be understanding of strange things. Tended being the problem, they played out the way you desired.
"I know." She whispers wondering if he heard her or not. His brows pull together and he pinches the bridge of his nose. There, a flash of more sorrow across his face. She wanted to scream at him all her dumb opinions of him and his dumb plans and everything here was his fault. Instead she dared reach out to him causing him to stand and step away.
"Please, do tell what it is you think you know?" He asks in his neutral little tone. Face once more a blank mirror of his tone.
She clears her throat before standing and closing the distance between them, "I know about everything." She states. She either dies and wakes from this.. this dream, or she can live. Maybe he'll threaten her or say she's nuts.
He stares at her for a moment before closing the short distance between them and wraps his fingers around her throat softly. "Please, enlighten me more." He breathes against her face, his eyes glaring down into hers. In his eyes there was anger, sorrow and fear. He had no idea how open his eyes were. She opened her mouth to explain but all she managed came out softly with but a tear trickling down her cheek as she uttered the words.
"Fen'Harel ma ghilana."
Ok so this one is a bouncy chapter. Sorry if it's bleh. I'm sick and I had so much I wanted to spill into this chapter but my brain is fuzzy.
Any grammar errors or anything that doesn't fit can be brought up in the comments below, I looove when people help out or have opinion to voice. (No sarcasm don't worry! ;P)
Please endure the waiting!
Thank you so much for the comments, kudos and bookmarkings!! <3
Elvhen crap in case you can't find it anywhere, (My stuff comes from Dragonage wikia)
Da'len = little one or child
Nehna = Nehn means joy, I added -a- to mae it Nehna to sound more.. namey.
Ma halani = Help me
Hamin = Rest or relax
Falon = Friend
Fen'Harel ma ghilana = "Dread Wolf guides you." Indicates someone being mislead/making bad life choices.
Chapter 6: Fen'Harel Ma Ghilana
She decided to out it while she still felt that buzz of power.
All fears and thoughts out the window, what will she do now?
May The Dread Wolf show mercy...
Solas had decided it was a good idea to teach her to control her magic, so she didn't find herself possessed or explode or something. On the third day after the rift had been closed Malik woke up, and she'd wanted to run out and hug him but Solas had confined her to his cabin. She was sure he still didn't trust her to tattle on him.
"Fen'Harel ma ghilana." The words she'd breathed were not to be regretted.
Solas quickly released his grip and stood there before her in utter shock. There, standing before her was Fen'Harel, at a loss for words. He narrowed his eyes at her and looked like he was trying to decide what to do with her or to her. "Fenedhis, when.. how did you..?" He takes a deep breath and steadies himself, tucking his arms behind his back. His eyes fixated on her obviously expecting an answer.
"I told you before, I feel things. See images that aren't my own.. memories." She tries keeping as close to the truth in case this world was her new home. Him breaking up with her in the game had done her silly little mind in bad enough, to be murdered by him for real in this world would.. suck.
He nods most likely absorbing everything she'd said with new eyes. She looks away from him and into the fireplace she'd heard crackling from earlier. She spaced out staring into the warm fire as the flames licked at the air.
"Do you fear me?" His words were slow and careful. Did he fear her? Or fear her fearing him?
She paused then answered slowly as she faced him, "No." She said softly. He faced the fireplace now too, but took a deep breath and went back to that bridge massaging.
They stood in silence for a while, neither moving nor speaking. A knock to the door pulled them out of their trance and Solas moved to answer it. "Yes?"
It was Cassandra who spoke, "Is she awake?" She sounded annoyed. Of course since Nehna hadn't helped she seemed more guilty than Malik who at this point was Herald of Andraste. Awesome.
"I'm afraid not, I will alert you the moment she does if you'd like?" He responded smoothly with that satin voice.
"Please." She said and left in a hurry.
He turned to face me and smiled, a real smile. Not one he always supplied the others with. "I will attempt to trust you, it's been too long and I've grown used to being alone with my distrust. You've now been honest with me so I will not pry for more information. For now."
"I- uh ok. Yes." She managed few words in fear of how he spoke.
He went to massage the bridge again but stopped and sighed, "I will teach you to control your magic and use it so I don't have to watch you stand in a corner like a lost child." That was a no buts, ifs and ors. And so her training was to start the next morning and the subject was dropped.
Cassandra hadn't knocked again till the next day asking to see Nehna, Solas stiffened but let her in. "I feel better knowing you are here rather than chained up in a cell but not everyone feels that way. You have two choices, stay here with Solas or be moved to a tent with other elves?"
Nehna felt panic surface as she'd glanced between Solas and Cassandra, Cassandra looked stressed and mildly annoyed whilst Solas had that dumb neutral thing going on. "I'd prefer staying with Solas if he'll have me- keep me.. ugh.. May I stay here Solas?" She was mentally kicking herself while Cassandra had lifted an eyebrow and a hint of entertainment sparkled in Solas eyes. More mental kicking would've continued if not for the heat that had begun to rise to her cheeks as his eyes sparkled, taking all her attention. With that Cassandra grunted something and left, leaving Nehna blushing with an amused Solas.
And so she was stuck with the tall slim elf that stole her heart away without ever having known.
She was tempted to beg Solas to let her out, she knew soon Malik would be sent to the Hinterlands to speak with Mother Giselle and she absolutely refused to be locked up in his cabin for days, weeks or even months! She huffed more loud sighs no longer able to focus on the stupid tome Solas was making her read while he sat in a meeting with Malik and a few other of those 'Inner Circle' members. She'd been moving along fast with her studies and Solas knew it, she was a fast learner with magic. She figured it had to do with being a huge geek and always praying for magic or special abilities, twas the best guess she could pull out of thin air.
As though her final sigh summoned him, Solas swiftly opened and closed the door behind him before she'd even managed to react. He glanced over to her in what she figured he must have thought the strangest position he's ever seen anyone in. Her legs were draped over the back of his chair and her back where the butt should be with her head dangling off the edge. She saw him upside down so she couldn't quite make out the shock and possibly horror plastered to his face.
She spun herself around as he opened his mouth but quickly shut it again, she stifled a giggle as she saw his face turn that rosy shade of pink. When he once again tried to say something he'd managed to fight back some of that blush but still had troubles formulating the sentence. Poor thing, she'd killed him with her funky position. "I must ask, what drove you to find such an.. exotic position?" He wasn't sounding as smooth as he usually did. Haha she'd stumped him, the poor thing was at a loss for words.
"I was bored, and slid around and down and.. uh wow.. you should have seen me on your bed before!" She giggled but felt the familiar heat rise to her cheeks. She'd loved the idea of Solas while playing the game but never loved him as a person because at the time he wasn't. Maybe he wasn't even now, but she couldn't help sneaking peeks at his face or staring in awe as he gracefully moved. He was pure magic and she had to stop herself from testing more romantic things with him in case she was here forever.
"During all my travels in the Fade, I have yet to experience any such position." He says eyeing her carefully, like she was a new plant or bug. "Where you come from, was it common to, find one's self in such a position often?" He asks slowly.
"Uh sometimes? I know I'm not the first nor the last to even uh, find myself in such a position." She says stealing his fancy wording. He moved towards her then stopped to think or reconsider whatever he'd first planned on doing then swiftly turned away from her and moved towards his desk. "So I was thinking, uhm, I can't be locked up in your cabin forever. Like when you leave or something what do I do? Stay curled up in a corner studying magic from old tomes?" She asks linking her hands together behind her.
Solas turns to her as he sits in his little wooden chair, his brows furrow slightly and she knows he's not willing to leave her but probably doesn't want to drag her useless little self along. "I believe it would be best for you to remain in Haven, you've barely scratched the surface of your magic but I understand your disinterest in being left behind." He said slowly looking frustrated.
She pulls on the energy in her body and imagines a tiny flame from a lighter on the tip of her finger as she raises her hand, she could feel his eyes on her as she did her best to concentrate. She dared slowly open one eye to see a tiny flickering flame grow just a bit. It wasn't a fireball but she didn't dare push it in case it exploded in her face, then she'd really not be allowed to come.
"I suppose healing magic and minor wards are the next thing I should attempt to teach you, but I fear you're not ready to face more demons yet.” He says pinching the bridge of his nose. She had to convince him to bring her.
"I will study hard and you can train me while we travel, I'll try not to slack and you can teach me wards and healing and that barrier thing you do!" She raises her voice a bit and the flame above her finger flickers spouting sparks. She imagines letting go of the lighter button and watches the flame swiftly die. "See, I'm a quick study." She says with a grin. She'd always wanted magic in her world, always. She annoyed people when all she wanted to read or watch was things with magic or up in the stars. She wasn't easy to please when it came to.. movies or series. It had to feel like magic. Movies, her fiance, these things were starting to fade like a dying flame and the harder she clung to them the faster they faded.
"I will speak with the Herald and he can decide." Was all she got as lifted himself from his chair and took long strides towards the door, "Will you join me?" He asks looking to her.
She nods and wants to squeal with happiness that she's getting out of this blasted cabin for the first time in days.
"I understand she's a mage and would be helpful but she's still as much a suspect as before." All because she didn't have a mark the branded her special and god like, like him. Malik and Solas were arguing for her to be brought with and Cullen along with Leliana were against it. Surprisingly Cassandra didn't want her in Haven but wasn't sure how helpful she could be with them.
Solas cleared his throat and spoke up, "She is being taught wards and simple healing, once I am certain she is capable enough with that I will move on to battle spells." He says wit h that smooth neutral voice. She had to admit it was annoying but slightly sexy.
"I understand, I think we all do. Wouldn't you all agree it's better to have more healers? What happens when one is tired or gets smitten by a Templar? This way Solas can continue to teach her control and whatever else mages need help with." Malik says sending Nehna a wink. She was so happy to have him on her side, two peas in a pod. Granted he was the bigger better pea and she was that wrinkled little one that- "If we're all in agreement then Nehna stays with us and will be brought on our travels." Malik said in a matter of fact voice.
There was mumbling and obvious disagreements around the room but they all nodded letting it go. Malik took my hand and dragged me out the door leading me towards that once empty room in the Chantry. During the entire game she'd never seen anyone in it, unlike Josephine's office. She wondered if Solas far behind her or hadn't noticed Malik taking off with her. "I- what are you doing Malik?" She squeaked as he locked the door behind him.
"I needed someone to talk to, someone who didn't look at me like Andraste sent me herself. It's flattering but one moment their condemning us to death and the next this." He shook his head and ran his hand through his hair, she'd taken a good look at him hazily while they'd been locked up but just now noticed how handsome he was. His short wispy brown locks stuck out in every direction, his soft blue eyes were less piercing than a certain elf's. He was almost an entire head taller than her and had a bit of dark stubble growing in. He looked young, still in his twenties maybe?
"I understand, I'm not exactly in the position of understanding completely but I don't have a killer mark to close rifts." She says with a small smile.
"Well at least you and I aren't in the same position as when we first met- well met for the second time maybe even third?" He looking confused as he tried to piece together the times we've met. "First being with.. Justinia, second when I carried you out of the rift with me and I suppose third is waking up facing each other." He says sounds some what sure of himself now.
"Something like that, sounds about right." She replies then goes silent as she hears Solas outside yelling for her.
"NEHNA! Stop hiding, please." He tries to sound collected, maybe he's scared she'll tell someone his secret. They hadn't really spoken about it, she admitted and he just rolled past it. "Nehna please." He says sounding tired. She peeks over at Malik and he is holding back giggles with his hand over his mouth, sparkled in his eyes as he looks back at her. She mentally shakes her head at his playfulness but secretly enjoys someone being as youthful as her. "Nehna.." Solas tries once more, his voice outside their locked door.
She inches towards the door feeling defeated knowing he'd found them, so much for getting a conversation with Malik. She glances over at him as he wrinkles his nose in annoyance. Yep, he too wanted some time to talk. "Another time then?" She offers a smile and opens the door to a frustrated looking Solas. Also a sexy look.
Malik brushes past them shooting Solas a very annoyed look and huffs a very loud and obvious sigh before shuffling off back towards the War Room. Solas looks mildly confused for a moment before turning his gaze back to Nehna. "Have I interrupted something important?" He says annoyed as well. People around here are easily offended and annoyed, more so than she was used to.
"Yes." She states giggling before brushing past him carefully heading in the direction of their cabin. She could feel Solas not far behind her but there was an obvious distance, was he jealous? No, he didn't see her like that. As yummy a thought it wasn't real, she didn't even know if any of the charac-people around her were romancable like in the game. Then again she'd played the Herald and that's the only reason it worked, maybe Solas wasn't stuck on a female elf who constantly questioned him.
"Where are you going Nehna?" Solas snaps her out of her silly thoughts and realizes she's heading the opposite direction of their cabin, his cabin. He stands beside her now peering down at her with that stupid neutral look. His shield.
"I uh, I was caught up in thinking about things." She mumbles under his gaze.
"You're not lost?"
This brings a giggle forth, shaking her head she tries smile up at him. "I was lost in thought."
"Ah." Was all she heard from him before he turned towards the path leading to their original destination. He motions her forward and she feels the heat rise to her cheeks as she changes paths. Once they enter the cabin she notices two beds side by side. "I asked one of the inquisition soldiers to bring in another bed so-"
"So you don't feel obligated to sleep on the floor by the fire?" She responds nervously. The new bed was but arms reach away from the other one, she could reach out and touch his face while he slept...
"I never felt obligated to sleep on the floor, I found it simpler to give you my bed than attempt to force you to the floor. Though I'm sure my chair would have done the trick after that strange position today." He says smirking slightly. Was sexier in real life than the game ever made it. There was a soft knock at the door after a moment of silence.
"Chuckles, is Nehna there? Either of you hungry?" Varric's voice drifted through the door. Food! At that her stomach let out an awkward growl and she leapt towards the door. She Solas move swiftly to open it but stopped as she moved quicker.
"Food." Was all she said as she swung the door open, with a nod and a big smile at Varric she bounced in front of him.
"Well to the Tavern it is then!" He said and chuckled.
Since waking in Haven she'd not left the cabin and hadn't spoken much to anyone, she figured Solas was scared she ramble off his secret. She wouldn't especially since her secret was big too, not dangerous like his but still big. They didn't talk much either really, their days together consisted of magic instructions, silence as they both had their noses in tomes and such and the few times they spoke he wore the neutral 'Icouldcarelessaboutthisconversation' look. It bugged her and could feel her brows pull down and her lips flatten every time it happened.
"How come you never crawl away from the dungeon that is the Solas cabin?" Varric asks eyeing me as I slurp at some strange soup.
"Uh, I like reading?" She managed a shy smile and went back to staring at the goop called soup in her bowl.
"Yea but why only in the cabin? Does he have you locked up or something? Was it the Seeker's idea?" He asks the last question slowly.
"Comfortable and warm, uh no wait kinda and no to the last one. Or at least I don't think it was Cassandra's idea." Could have been, maybe the thought planted by Solas. She didn't mind it as much as she thought she did. She was always in the same room as the sexy elf of her dreams. Granted he was very dream worthy with how distant and semi rude he was currently.
"So you just decided to plant yourself in his cabin and almost never come out? That doesn't sound right."
"Well Cassandra and Solas did talk to me about it and it was either a bad thing or his cabin, I stuck with the fireplace and constant protection." She replies slurping at the soup once more. She wished Sera was here, or Dorian.. Even Iron Bull would have brought actual entertainment without tons of questions she didn't know how or dared answer.
"Hmm sounds fishy. So you're a mage huh?" He changed topics faster than she remembered him doing in the game, he tended to stick to one topic and fill it full of questions till someone all but begged him to move on. Strange.
"Yes. Would appear so." She manages between slurps. She should have gone with the ram cutlets.
"I hear rumors you didn't know you were one?" He leans in lowering his voice, seems he had some form of manners or after thought after all.
"I wasn't aware I was one until Solas told me." She answered quickly.
She saw Varric's mouth open to obviously ask more questions when Malik bursts through the door searching the tables before his eyes fall on her and a wide smile spreads across his face. He was looking for her? He closes the door behind him and glances around at all the people who'd stopped to stare at him, giving them all a nod then plops himself down in a chair beside her. "How ever did you drag Nehna out of that dreadful cabin Varric?" He asks eyeing her.
"I knocked on the door and she raced out the door." He answered laughing.
"If I'd known that was all it took I'd have come around sooner." Malik says frowning as the smile fades.
"Yes, you should have." She giggles at his obvious flirting. Sure the Herald will flirt with her but Solas.. the one she wants won't. Ugh.
"Speaking of this dreadful Solas, where is he?" Malik asks peeking around, not seeing him a smile creeps back across Malik's face. "So tomorrow we head out for the Hinterlands, Crossroads more specifically. Something about a Mother Giselle needing to speak to me." He says looking directly at Nehna.
"Who's coming with you?" She asks blush creeping up her neck.
"Well if Varric's interested-" He glances at Varric then returns his gaze to Nehna after Varric nods, "Cassandra, Solas and you." He says her name last.
"Have you asked the dreadful Solas yet?" She asks with a giggle, dread, Solas.
"Actually I just came from there, he's already agreed to it. Something about you not being allowed to go without him and needing to monitor the mark." He huffs the words out like he's got little to no interest in Solas. "I was then told you and Varric were here. So I raced up to let you know you were no longer locked away." He says with a chuckle.
He seems so playful and young when he laughs. The three of them sat like that for hours, questions, jokes and flirting till Nehna felt a hand on her shoulder. "Da'len, it is late and we leave before sunrise tomorrow." She turns to see Solas bent his face close to hers and he tugs softly at her shoulder. His face has the neutral look, it feels colder and colder every time she's faced with it. A yawn escapes her lips and all she can do is nod, slowly standing Solas removes his hand from her shoulder.
"Guess we'll see you bright and early Nehna, Solas." His voice drops as he says Solas, clearly not liking him for unknown reasons.
"Goodnight Malik." She answers with a soft smile and another nod before following Solas out into the cold crisp night. She felt sluggish and her throat was slightly sore from all the laughing. She stares at her feet as she follows the familiar path up to their familiar cabin. She felt bad for flirting, she knew she'd been flirting. She had a fiance in some other world far away, for the first time her thoughts settled on who she once was. Was she missing? Had her body just disappeared, or was she just laying there asleep like normal? Maybe he'd woken to find her in a coma, and now her body was in a-a hospital. Or maybe her body continues with her original mind and who she is here was just a copy? Too many movies and shows. Her thoughts clear for just a moment before her face meets something hard. She yelps and takes a step back losing any and all balance she'd just had.
The air around her moved and she opens her eyes not remembering closing them only to be met with the stormy eyes belonging to that tall slender elf. "Solas." She breathes feeling the heat rise to her face. He stares at her with that neutral look but worry or something like it flashes across his face. "I'm sorry, I got lost in thought again. I didn't mean to walk on you or into you.." She says is a small voice.
He didn't release her but let her take a step back, still keeping an arm around her waist, the arm she hadn't noticed till now was around her waist causing more blush to settle upon her face. He slowly nodded and pulled his arm back to his side pulling the last of his heat with him, reminding her how cold it was outside. "You've seemed lost more often than not today, what thoughts plague your mind so?" He asks looking down at her.
"I- my memories are jumbled but I remember faces. And I wonder if the faces miss me or if it's like I was never there? Did I run away, slip away into the darkness or do I just no longer exist to them?" She says feeling the tears threaten to spill. "How long have I been gone? Are they gone now.. what happened during all the time in between?" She says feeling the panic rise.
She feels his arms around her, gentle, caring. She tensed at the sudden embrace but slowly went limp against him whimpers making their way out, as the tears spilled she felt him lift her body and knew he'd picked her up. She was too busy weeping against his chest to care or notice much more. She felt warmth embrace her body as he sat down, their weight making the bed shift and creak. She was in his lap curled up leaning against his chest, now damp from her tears and embarrassingly enough most likely drool along with boogers. She felt so far from attractive right now she hoped he didn't need to see her face to speak to her. They sat like that for a long time, unmoving, in complete and utter silence aside from the fireplace.
Sorry if it's jumbled at all, I've caught the flu! Even though I tried so hard with vitamins UGH.
I'm trying to keep them semi short so I can work harder on each chapter, attempting to release them at least every other day. Sometimes more often if I'm feeling particularly inspired.
I'm free from the real world till like.. the 18th of April.
Fenedhis = common curse like crap
Thank you so much for all the support! You guys are awesome!
25 kudos and 176 views as I post this! ALREADY?! ILOVEYOUGUYSSOMUCH!
Chapter 7: Be Stronger Da'len
Nehna was never this easily broken as Kate. She sucked with confrontation and would usually cry if someone yelled at her, but she never just randomly started weeping and wailing from deep thoughts.
How will Solas see her now?
How will they interact...
I'm gonna start keeping the summery shorter, something to grab your attention and then throw you back into the story!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Nehna hadn't noticed him move at all nor did she remember drifting off to sleep, but became aware as she was woken by sweet whispers of her name. She made a noise similar to a grunt which was countered with a velvety chuckle. She didn't want to wake yet, she knew once she did she'd have to get up and get dressed. Yesterdays events slowly drifted back into her mind which caused her eyes to snap open to another soft whisper of her name, Solas was on seated on the edge of her bed leaning over her. Had he had his long hair still it would've most likely be draped over her right now.
"If I wake I'll need to get up and ready won't I?" She mumbles slightly annoyed at the lack of light coming in through the window.
"Indeed Da'len. We do have important things to attend to today." He had a strange smile going on and continued, "You decided you felt the need to join us, you strongly desired adventure did you not?"
That wasn't quite why she'd wanted out of this cabin but she slowly nodded. He sat there a moment longer his eyes studying her face before he stood and moved towards the door. He pointed to a pile of clothing on his desk, bowed then stepped out without a word.
She quickly got dressed and found what she assumed was foot wraps like Solas wore along side a pair of boots, a choice. She had absolutely no idea how to do the foot wraps otherwise she'd have worn them but as it was.. the boots had to win. Solas had been strange, even for Solas. In game he was always seemed to show minor amounts of emotion and kept a false air of neutral 'Idon'treallycareaboutanythingotherthanclosingthebreachandtalkingaboutelfystuff' but last night and this morning there was something weird going on. He seemed kind of a sucker for elves in need sometimes and other times he just wanted to help a mage or two. He was quite opinionated and possibly bipolar. Whiplash from him in game was painful! Maybe he was looking out for a fellow apostate elf and wound up her late night tissue and so he's now scared she'll start leaking on him, again. Poor thing, maybe she'd scared him into thinking she'd broken, or was fragile.
After some more mindless worrying over the silly elf man, she'd forced herself out the door and into the cold. Solas hadn't left her much to her surprise, he'd stayed right by the door. Kind of in his in game spot which almost made her giggle.
"I was beginning to wonder if you'd gotten lost in there."
"I was trying to decide between the wraps and the boots when I realized I have no idea on how to wear the wraps." She felt heat rise to her face.
"Ah, I can teach you when we make camp. If you'd like?" How sweet. Strange.
"You can try." She answers with a giggle. "Are we the first up or..?"
"The others are down by the gates already." He waved in the direction of the gates as some sort of 'after you' motion so she took a few steps forwards and he moved beside her.
They walked in silence till they got to the gates, Varric, Cassandra and Malik were already there with horses at the ready saddle and all. Had she slept in or had everyone else gotten ready sooner? Cassandra stepped forward and spoke first.
"Ah good you're up. Solas told us you'd been ill last night so we waited an extra hour to see if you'd be well enough to travel."
"Are you well enough to travel?" Malik's voice sounded concerned which was sweet.
"I'm fine, I didn't feel well last night. I'm sure I was just nervous about today."
"Good, Solas also informed us you didn't know how to ride so he offered to have you ride with him." Cassandra said and mounted her horse.
She watched Malik pout for a moment before mounting his, with Varric already mounted that left Solas and herself. As she glanced over at Solas, she noticed him waiting on her. She wiggled her eyebrows at him and decided to stay a little ways away. He gestured her closer, so as she moved to stand beside him he gently lifted her up into the saddle. She'd never ridden before, which was true but how he knew that she would surely never find out. Maybe he guessed. She made a strange noise as he climbed on behind her scooting into position, her back against his chest and his arms around her. She dared lean against his warmth and prepare herself a lengthy journey pretty much in his lap. If she wasn't so scared or purring or other strange noises escaping her she'd pay closer attention to his heat and proximity so instead she settled into a comfortable position and glanced up at him.
"Are you comfortable now Nehna?" He asks peering down at her.
They'd been travelling for hours now, Cassandra said 'just a bit further' till camp but she figured Cassandra was just saying that to stop Nehna from asking again and again if they were close yet. So after hours of travelling her butt was going numb and her toes were cold so she did what any numb butt would do and wiggled. Solas had been so quiet that the first few times she wiggled and re-positioned herself she'd actually forgotten her was there. She managed to forget the tall slim elf with a silky voice was her back support and ninety percent of her heat.
"Not in the slightest." She grumbled, she missed fast travelling.
"Cassandra said we'd be reaching camp shortly, have you really never travelling before?" Varric had slowed and attempted to listen in on her mumbling and muttering of travelling.
"I don't have any memories of ever doing this kind of travelling, no." She answered trying not to vocalize her displeasure with horseback riding. She had nearly begged Solas to bring her along and even convinced Malik to bring her along as well.
"Interesting." Was all Solas had said. A man of many words at times he was.
Luckily Cassandra hadn't just been trying to shut her up, they really did reach camp not even twenty minutes after she'd said 'just a bit further'. Solas slid off first then had her slide off into his arms which really brought the color to her cheeks. She caught a grin from Varric and a small twitch of the lips with Solas, no matter where she was a girl was bound to be embarrassed further if she blushed. After last night every time she thought of her fiance from her world a small pain would slip through her heart.
Camp consisted of a handful of Inquisition scouts, three tents and a small bonfire. It looked like a mini table-less version of the camps in the game. She was regretting travel even more so when she had to pee but had no idea where or how. So she had to ask Cassandra in private which caused them both to blush, stutter and mumble. Apparently little holes were dug and you were to position yourself over and do business. She'd never been camping in her life so this was a first and a new level of hell, at least back in Haven there'd been those chamber pot things. Not awesome either but none of this.. position yourself and hope!
She quickly finished her business and rushed back to camp most likely looking a tad unhappy. She slipped onto a log beside Solas and pushed herself against his side, she knew he might be uncomfortable but the worst- absolute worst - he could do would move away and much to her surprise and relief he didn't. She peeked up at his face out of curiosity and was met with his eyes watching her. She pushed a smile up at him with that familiar heat rising to her cheeks, and yet another surprise smacked her as he smiled down at her then went back to eating whatever was in his bowl.
"So do you not remember anything about yourself?" Varric was poking again. Stupid writer.
"Not much, it comes and goes. It's like trying to study your reflection in a waterfall." Mostly true.
"That sounds.. complicated." And that was that, Malik stared at her for a moment but nodded offering a small smie, understanding.
"I suggest we retreat for the night, I've been told it's an early start and I've come to understand those aren't in your best interested Da'len." Solas lifts an eyebrow as he speaks to her. Was he making fun of her morning issues?
"Indeed." Was all she said and stood walking towards the tent that held her and Solas. Why was she stuck with him? Stuck wasn't right, she didn't quite mind being this close to an Elvhen God like creature but at the same time every moment she let herself admire him that ache in her heart would blossom to life, reminding her of what was now lost forever.
She must have had emotions visibly swirling because as they entered the tent Solas turned to her and studied her, she could feel his eyes on her. Neither of them spoke as she crawled into her bedroll and neither of them spoke as she drifted off to sleep.
Her dreams weren't what they once were, or once felt like. These ones were blurry and as she walked through them it was like walking through mist. She'd hear voices and see figures rush past her. One figure was tall and slim, quite obviously Elvhen. She knew this figure was beautiful even though she saw no features, the face was blurry and nothing was settling before her. The figure spoke to another figure, this figure she could see more clearly. Long brown locks tied up, he turned towards her but didn't look at her. It was Solas, she was sure of it, younger but still him.
"Banal nadas Mythal." He sounded angry but not at the female figure.
"Dareth shiral Ma'Falon." The womans voice spoke softly, but distress was evident in her voice.
They embraced each other then as they released one another they faded like mist, another set of figures stood before her yelling, screaming in anger. No Solas this time just two males and the same female. The male figure standing before the female unsheathed a blade and raised it, as he plunged it through her heart Nehna swore the females eyes met her own before all faded into darkness.
She could hear familiar voices, struggling to push past the ringing in her ears to focus on their words. She could hear that silky smooth voice not sounding all that smooth she could feel arms wrapped around her and worst of all she could feel her hands tied. She peeled her eyes open and saw Malik holding her, Solas standing with his back to her and Cassandra with the scouts before them, with their weapons out.
"I- what's going on? Why are my hands bound?"
"They mistook your nightmares for demon possession Da'len." His voice had an edge to it.
"But I'm not possessed? Is a mage not allowed to have bad dreams? I was thrown into a world without memories that make sense and I've not been trusted since. My life is being thrown downhill and no one seems to care or even ask if I'm ok! One bad dream and you all try to thrust a sword through me!" She started shouting the last bit and could feel tears threatening to spill against her will.
"Seeker, Nehna is not possessed. She was having a nightmare." Solas all but growled.
"Very well, but it will be both your heads if she is." Cassandra's growl in return. They were not going to be friends.
Malik was undoing her restraints when they burst into flames, Malik made a funny yelp but slung his arms back around her. Malik brushed stray hairs away from her face and mumbled something about not bringing Cassandra along next time. He turned and slid her onto her bedroll looking like he'd rather not let go of her, before he could suggest he stick around Solas coughed.
"I believe it's still late and she requires more sleep, leave her to me Malik."
Malik released her, gave her a strange look then stood and left without another word. Solas moved quicker than her eyes could follow and was suddenly by dropping his bedroll no more than an inch away from her own. She curled into her bedroll facing him as he lay in his book in hand. She don't know how long she lay there, staring at him feeling her face warm slightly, before he turned to face her.
"I did mention sleep did I not Da'len? Staring at me isn't sleeping." He smirks.
Even more embarrassed she simply sticks her tongue out at him and tucks herself further into her bedroll still able to see him clearly, which was good otherwise she'd have missed the most entertaining expression of surprise and confusion from him. He clears his throat and goes back to his book, but she could clearly see she wasn't the only one with a flushed face. Granted his was simply slightly rosy ears, good enough for her. A slight ache passed through her heart and caused her to curl up further and shut her eyes.
This time she slept dreamless and warm. To her surprise she woke before Solas, he looked far more peaceful asleep than she'f imagined he would. With all that he had and does suffer she imagined a less serene look on his face. As she reached a hand out to touch his face, just to make sure he was real, his eyes opened. She was less than an inch away as he turned his face to look at her hand. Puzzled would be the word she'd use for the look on his face, then it was back to neutral for him.
"Might I inquire why you're reaching for me whilst I sleep Da'len?" One eyebrow up on a neutral face makes it look creepy.
"I uh- I wanted to see if you were real?" She could feel the heat across her face now. She hadn't meant to be so honest.
"If I was real? Do I not seem real? You are not dreaming Da'len." Worry flashes across his face.
"I know I'm awake, you wouldn't understand." She huffs then crawls out of her bedroll to greet the crisp air.
"Curious. Will you be wearing boots today?"
"Would you rather teach me how to use the wraps?" A smile sneaking it's way across her face.
After what seemed like forever he'd given up trying to show her and just wrapped them for her. It was like foot origami only worse, and this time her sister wasn't here to help Solas make her seem more dumb than she already felt. He made a few annoyed sighs and stood, looking at her like it was the damnedest thing that she had no idea how to wrap them. She mouthed "Memories." and his look changed to something more understanding.
"Forgive me Da'len, I forgot your memories aren't what they once were." He offered his hand and she took it, it was softer and warmer than she'd expected. He'd been asleep for a while but what had he been up to before then? Or even the year before this all went down? They stood there in silence, her hand in his for a few moments longer. She didn't notice till he pulled away and motioned towards the tents entrance.
"Do you think the others are awake yet?"
"It would appear not, perhaps you'd prefer to stay here till they do?" She shivered and he added, "It's warmer in here."
"You got me up and dressed to stay here?" She wiggled her eyebrows at him, she won a smile from him.
"You rose before me, I simply offered to wrap you up." Wrap her up, oh dear. She knew she was blushing at that point because he sighed and muttered something about 'I'll fetch breakfast' and 'don't move'. Strange.
He returned shortly with a bowl in each hand, some sort of porridge and it was't sweet. Where is sugar when you need it most. As she sniffed the strange porridge she caught Solas wrinkle his nose and gracefully shovel his porridge. She watched him eat while she slowly ate small mouthfuls of hers wishing she could gracefully shovel food too. After they finished he told her to stay as he returned the dishes somewhere outside. When he returned this time he said the others were slowly rising.
Cassandra came in not long after saying to pack up, leaving shortly. Nehna was certain now she'd never have fitted into bootcamp or the army. Not a chance. She must have been making a strange face as Cassandra left because when she glanced over at Solas he was making a curious face at her.
"What?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing, I will not let her harm you." He turned and swiftly packed all their stuff up. He gracefully packs as well, is there anything he can't do gracefully? Her mind wanders for a moment before that small ache appears. She knows why it aches, she knows it's to remind her not to forget. But she wonders if she can ever go back, if she can't will she be stuck here forever? If so she was most certainly not going to pass up the opportunity to change things or even try at least flirting with Solas. He wasn't easy to keep in the game, but she wasn't the Inquisitor and she had no connection to this world as of yet. So she'd stick to him, maybe convince him to go about things differently.
She was most certainly making another strange face because this time he reached out and touched her shoulder, softly. She almost screamed but luckily just shivered.
"Why so deep in thought? What pains you so?" Stupid silky voice.
She looks down at his hand on her shoulder, before she can answer Malik walks in. "Nehna, sleep well?" He notices us and probably assumes something strange. Stuttering he says something about leaving now and something else but she couldn't catch it due to him muttering it while leaving. She hadn't noticed Solas still had his hand on her shoulder, he dropped it to his side and said he'd meet her outside. She quickly moved outside and almost walked into Malik, he hadn't taken more than a few steps outside their tent. He spun around and laughed, causing her to start giggling too. "Sorry." She said between giggles.
He waved it off and took a deep breath, "Hope I wasn't intruding." He wiggles his eyebrows at her.
"Not this time." She responds with a wiggling of her own.
He starts to blush and looks slightly amused but also a hint of something else. Was he crushing on her already? She was traveling with them, they were in the same boat and it kinda made sense. As attractive as he was, any attraction so far was reserved for Solas. Stupid game and it's stupid characters. She wondered if she'd have been sucked into another world or not sucked in at all had she never played the stupid game. She couldn't even remember it's name at this point. Which was silly and somewhat confusing.
She could hear Solas step out of their tent behind her and turned to greet him, he glanced around then slowly moved around Malik and her. She nodded at Malik then moved to stand beside their mount. Solas lifted her up then climbed behind her like last time, and like last time she rested herself against him as his arms went around her. As comfortable and warm as it was, it still caused that blush to cover her face in extra heat. Luckily Solas sat behind her and couldn't see her face as she smiled all rosy. Then the strangest thing happened, he scooted forward slightly and wrapped an arm around her.
I'm really sorry I didn't release anything yesterday, I kinda zoned out and napped.
I'm better today so here's a promised chapter! Thank you soooo much for your patience and support!
31 kudos and 235 hits as I post this!
I love you guys and I can't wait to see where this takes us! <3
Chapter 8: Learning to Live
The harder she tries to move on the stronger the ache in her heart.
Is Nehna misreading things and trying to hard to compare it to what she thought was the story?
She isn't ready for the war before her.
They rode in silence, a dull ache gripping her hear and a gentle arm wrapped around her. If she concentrated hard enough she could hear his steady breath behind her and it caused a louder heart beat that slowly drowned out his breathing. Then the ache would spread. A steady reminder of who she had been and what may never come to be again. She lifted her head to peek up at him and noticed his brows pulled together, scowling at the snow?
"What has the snow ever done to you to deserve such a fowl look?" she giggles up at him.
He seemed slightly startled as he turned his attention down to her. "I apologize, I didn't realizing I had such a.. foul look." He smiles but it doesn't reach his eyes.
"A look that could melt snow." Still smiling up at him.
"That would have a desirable effect." She couldn't help but giggle again. Is he cold? He never complained in the game as far as she could remember, maybe he's still recovering from his wake up.
"It would please me quite." She was obviously blushing at this point.
"I am afraid I find myself unable to oblige at this moment Da'len." He says this time with a real smile.
"Too bad." Was all she managed as she forced herself to look away, as she was most certainly blushing.
The rest of the trip was mostly in silence aside from occasional banter between Varric, Cassandra and Malik. Not all that different from the game, though in the game it was usually only between two companions where as here in the real version it was between all. Far more realistic.
"So how often do you have nightmares that cause screaming?" Varric had slowed to question her.
"Almost never, as far as I can remember." She'd never really screamed in her sleep.
"You might not wanna talk about it, but any hints as to the theme?" He asks too many questions, far less entertaining to be around in this reality.
"I can't remember." Short, quaint, read between lines and it says 'leave me alone'.
"It might be for the best." Solas was pitching in now too. "I can offer to guard your dreams tonight." Sweet.
"I will try myself tonight." She also didn't want him seeing anything from her old world.
"Very well Da'len." She wasn't a child, well maybe to him since he's old.
Luckily Varric took the hint and rode further ahead to bug Cassandra, however this meant she was alone with Solas. Not that he spoke much. Malik would occasionally turn to look at her or wiggle his eyebrows, something to gain a smile or giggle. With him no ache emerged, only when she let her eyes or thoughts linger on Solas. She must have dozed off at some point because when she woke she was in someones arms, her face buried in their chest. She could smell wood and old books so that meant Solas, he was carrying her. Were they at camp? She wondered how long she'd been asleep but didn't dare stir in case he made her walk on her own.
"I see you're awake, you seem to enjoy pretending to sleep." How did he know, sneaky elf.
"I was afraid if I spoke, you'd make me walk. It's cold but here I'm warm." Honest words sprung from her mouth.
"Curious. You'd rather lay warm in a strangers arms than walk?" Well it had something to do with her being in his arms. But that wasn't flying out of her mouth.
"I knew it was you, otherwise I'd have removed myself." Not much better.
"Even more curious. You believe you can trust me?" She looked up to see him smirking down at her. How very.. wolfy.
"You said you'd protect me, should I not take your word? Are you a liar Solas?" Liar caused his face to turn sour.
"No Da'len, I will keep my word. While you are in my care you are safe."
"Then I shall remain in your arms unless you suddenly decide to drop me, but then I shall promise to smother your face with snow whilst you sleep Hahren." She finally remembered the word for elder. Closest she could really get to calling him old.
He chuckled and moved as though he were to drop her causing her to scream, this gained another chuckle from him. Playful little wolf.
"I desire restful sleep, so I will not drop you. Yet." Sneaky Solas.
She started giggling as he spoke, he made a face but set her down. She took a look around and realized they were surrounded by tents, she watched as Malik groaned about setting the fire and turned her attention back to Solas. He had brought her to a tent, their tent most likely. She hoped they weren't suddenly switching tent partners around yet. She really didn't trust Cassandra after her nightmare moment.
"I will bring you dinner tonight, it seems the Seeker still has.. reservations." He spoke slowly, choosing his words.
"She has issues." Nehna muttered.
That got a her a frown, "We all have.. issues Da'len. We each choose to handle them in our own ways." His frown loosened and a false smile appeared. "You are safe, I will fetch our food." he added 'stay' then quickly left the tent.
In his absence she claimed one of the two cots, then tent was a tad bigger than the one they'd slept in before but still would be sleeping within arms reach. The ache came to life as she lingered on the events of this morning. "I will not forget." She breathed.
"You will not forget what?" She hadn't heard Malik enter.
"My name." Not completely a lie.
"Why would you forget your name?"
"Then why tell yourself not to forget?"
"I wasn't, I was reassuring myself."
"Why would you need to do that? Are you unwell Nehna?" He sounded worried but all his interrogatory questioning was starting to irritate her.
"I'm fine, I love waking from a nightmare to a sword in my face and my hands bound. It's every elf mage's dream come true." She growled, the ache in her heart threatening to be more than an ache.
"I'm sorry Nehna, I never thought Cassa-"
"I'm tired Malik, your apologies won't take it all back. You can't control your companions." She snapped.
She could see the hurt in his eyes as he nodded, dropped his head then shuffled out. She was about to curl up into her cot when Solas re-entered food in hand. She no longer felt hungry so she shook her head proceeded to curl up on her cot. She decided against under the blankets due to her feet wraps still being on, she had no idea how to remove and didn't feel like asking Solas.
"Malik seemed upset." Was all Solas said as he sat down on his cot.
"Everyone's upset." She muttered.
"I told you, you are safe now." She didn't feel safe.
"You did say that already, yes."
"Why are you being difficulty Da'len?" Ugh, why did he sound like he was adressing a small child?
"I'm not a child Solas, stop speaking to me like that." She didn't want to be a child in his eyes. The ache awoke in her heart.
"Very well. Eat and stop acting like one." Such a parent, he would be a strict father. Father.. why couldn't she see the face of her father or step-dad?
She reached out as she sat up and took the bowl he held out to her. She grunted then slowly shoveled spoon fulls very ungracefully, but she didn't feel like staying awake much longer. Today needed to end. She whispered goodnight before slipping under the covers no longer caring about the wraps.
"On nydha Nehna."
She shut her eyes and focused on the sound of the wind outside and found herself drifting off into darkness.
Darkness didn't last, she found herself in a forest of large trees. The green was was bight and little lights danced everywhere. It felt so magical and like nothing she could ever compare to. She heard footsteps behind her and saw Solas again, his long locks still tied up his face much more smirky. He looked hotblooded and very cocky. Walking beside him on either side were figures, one female and one male. The female was the same as before, the male was familiar.
The woman spoke but all Nehna caught was the mention of Arlathan. Then Solas replied with the same jumbled words, ancient Elvhen?
"Dirthara-ma Solas." The male figure spoke up.
Solas nodded his look suddenly solemn, like a sort of reality had sunk in. The female reached out and touched his shoulders, she seemed to care a great deal about him. He shifted then moved away from the two figures. More jumbled speaking then more nods.
"Halam'shivanas." She heard the woman's voice echo as it all faded like mist. The images shifted and she was standing in a large room, a large canape bed in the middle. Figures bustled about and she could now see a woman on the bed, giving birth? The sound of a screaming and metal on metal could be heard outside. A figure burst through the doors behind her, his voice deep and melodic but his words too were not understood. She could tell he was in a hurry, something wasn't right outside. She could tell now it was swords clashing, there was fighting going on as a woman gave birth.
She turned and followed the man as he rushed to the woman's side, his voice spoke with urgency and pain like nothing she'd ever heard. There was true pain in his words even though she didn't understand what he said, she understand it was important. He held her hand tightly as she screamed in pain. Yelling words into the air almost drowning out the war outside.
"Ir abelas, ma vhenan." The womans voice was weak and soft.
"Ma vhenan..." The man spoke softly as he watched her drift away.
Voices around them spoke and rushed about, with the woman now gone the fighting was louder. The man stood and was handed a bundle, she could feel his pain and watched as the other figures around them bowed. He was important, she had been important and the bundle was important. The man moved towards her and as he passed through her she heard screaming.
She awoke to arms around her shaking her softly, a voice whispering her name. Her eyes and body felt heavy, the ache in her heart was on fire and she took a deep unsteady breath. As she forced her eyes open she realized it was Solas, she was in his lap in her own cot. He was whispering her name softly but stopped as he noticed her moving.
"Nehna?" Worry in his voice, the screaming must have been her.
"I'm sorry, the second time this-"
She was cut off by none other than the Seeker. "Nehna? Solas may we enter?" She sounded slightly frustrated.
Solas looked to the entrance then back to her, after thinking a moment she nodded. "Indeed you may Seeker."
As Cassandra entered Malik and Varric shuffled in behind her. Both looking worried, Cassandra looked worried as well but more for everyone else's safety. Malik spoke first as he moved to her side. Solas still held her in his lap and she could have sworn he tugged her closer as Malik sat across from them on the cot opposite them.
"Is it demons Nehna?" He asks her but his eyes were on Solas.
"No." They answered together.
"So it's just bad dreams? I get that, big scary green tear in the sky spitting out horrors. Would cause plenty of nightmares." Varric was helpful for once.
"I understand, is there anything we can do Nehna?" Malik sounded concerned, even after their moment earlier.
"I- I don't know. I can't remember what my nightmare was really about. Memories. I think." She had no idea what her dreams were. They were people she didn't know, things she'd never seen and it was making little to no sense. "I'm sorry for waking you all, it wasn't as bad tonight I think." She had no idea, she didn't watch anyone get skewered by a sword which counts as better.
"Well you weren't yelling bloody murder tonight so that's a plus." Varric pitched in.
"You weren't asleep for more than a few hours, you should sleep more. I will guard your dreams, ir abelas Da'len." He actually sounded sorry, she simply nodded not having the energy to fight and she didn't want to go back to those strange dreams. They weren't her memories.
"Very well, I suppose we should all return as well." Cassandra spoke up and with a nod she was gone.
Malik still sat opposite them and looked reluctant. He looked between Solas and her before brushing her shoulder then rushed off. She was sure he might have strange feelings for her. She wasn't good with flirting or being flirted with but he seemed to fit that space. It was too soon and she was sure it was brought on by feeling they were in the same situation, same book different pages.
"I will let you sleep. Fear not, I will not let your dreams in." Why? Why was he helping her with that neutral look on his face?
"Fine." He released her and slid back onto his cot, which seemed a tad closer than before. He sat there for a moment then slid under his covers. She did the same and lay there staring at his face. The ache was dull but still there, but she wasn't thinking about Solas as she stared. He turned to face her and as he whispered 'sleep' she felt her eyes droop and her mind drift.
She woke energized and feeling refreshed, as she thought to rise a voice reminded her she wasn't alone.
"I see you slept well this time." Malik.
She slid out of the cot with much regret as a shiver passed through her body. "I did, not a single dream. I'm sure Solas had something to do with that.. Not that I really mind. I slept." She had started to mumble.
"I'm just glad you're ok, Cassandra threatened to tie you up again but I told her to give it a moment. It may pass I said." He was sweet defending her like that.
"Thank you, it would not have made things better waking to bindings." She growled but smiled over at him.
"I understand, we didn't know what was going on though. You won't wake to that again, I promise Nehna."
He sounded sincere. "Thank you Malik. I believe you will try your best to keep it from happening." She didn't believe it wouldn't happen again. She hoped they got other companions soon, she really was tired of Cassandra already. She wasn't as kind or friendly in this world as she'd been in the game. But as she recalled, in the game you play the Inquisitor, the Herald. Not some random elf apostate that has horrible nightmares or something.
"I will leave you two to eat, in about twenty minutes we head out." His voice reminded her he was still there, she meant to reply but he was out before she had the chance. Solas entered but a step after him, he must have been waiting outside.
"I guess I don't have to speed eat then." She mumbled and took the bowl he offered.
"You may take your time, yes." Why did he always answer like that? Like even as he agreed he made it sound like a riddle.
"Good, I'd have to get this goop anywhere other than in my mouth." More mumbling, how could he hear her through all her mumbling?
He didn't answer her this time and was done eating long before her, with his graceful shoveling again.
They headed out almost as soon as she was done eating, they were to arrive in the Hinterlands within the hour. The snow was slowly getting patchy and the winds weren't as crisp and they rode. The closer they got the more nervous she was, sometimes Solas would try to explain some sort of magic or explain how to channel this or that. It kept her mind off deeper darker thoughts but she thought that may have been the point. Every time her mind threatened to dip into those thoughts he'd speak up and and explain some strange magic thing. She now knew how to summon a minor barrier and could heal minor cuts, in theory.
They could hear yelling and fighting as they drew close, she could see a small group of Inquisition scouts. She also noticed the dwarf, Harding.
"We dismount here." Cassandra said as she was already on the ground.
Solas climbed down then lifted her off, she wrapped her arms around him and giggled. This caught him by surprise and she saw his ears turn a slight shade of pink. Interesting. All she wanted to do was lean in and- the ache in her heart blossomed. She took a deep breath to steady herself, she caught a flicker of worry in his eyes as he released her. She turned away and heard Harding speaking to Malik, familiar lines began dropping.
"The Herald of Andraste? I've heard the stories. Everyone has. We know what you did at the Breach." She took a deep breath and continued, " It's an honor to meet you my Lord."
Nehna sighed and walked up with Solas wishing she could skip this bit, really missing that square button.
"Inquisition Scout Harding, at your service. I- all of us here - we'll do whatever we can to help."
Varric chuckles, "Harding huh? Ever been to Kirkwall's Hightown?"
"I can't say I have, why?" Harding raises an eyebrow.
"You'd be Harding in... Oh never mind."
Cassandra makes a disgusted grunt and rolls her eyes. Very on script.
Malik makes a confused face at Cassandra but turns back to Harding, "So, what's the situation out here in the Hinterlands?"
Harding's brows furrow, "We came to secure horses from Redcliffe's old Horsemaster. I grew up here, and the people always said Dennet's herds were the strongest and fastest this side this side of the Frostbacks." She sighed before continuing. "But with the Mage-Templar fighting getting worse, we couldn't get to Dennet. Maker only knows if he's even still alive." Yet another sigh, "Mother Giselle's at the Crossroads helping refugees and the wounded. Our latest reports say that the war's spread there too. Corporal Vale and our men are doing what they can to help protect the people, but they won't be able to hold out very long. You best get going. No time to lose." At that she rushes off in another direction.
"Well that wasn't pleasant to listen to, best we hurry off to this Mother Giselle. I'm sure people are starting to starve and get cold." She was going to help where she could.
She caught a strange look from Solas but it vanished as quickly as she'd noticed it. "Indeed, I agree with Nehna. The sooner the better."
Malik sighed then nodded. "Let's go meet this Mother Giselle then." He wasn't sounding too happy, probably figured Mother Giselle was like all the other Chantry Mothers. She'd been mildly annoying in the game, especially with Dorian, but overall an okay person.
As they headed down the hill, met with an Inquisition scout that mumbled something about needed this or that. Stupid gathering quest, can't even escape it in this world. They continue downhill nearing the fighting. She knew there'd be Mages and Templars fighting. She was going to see someone die for the first time, not even just die, be killed. She'd never seen someone die, she'd seen dead people. At funerals. She couldn't remember their names or faces right now, but she knew some were important at some point. Somewhere..
"Nehna, you'll need to stay by Solas until you can fight or cast barriers properly." Malik turned to her looking very serious.
"I- I understand Malik." She lowered her head and saw Solas move to her side.
"She will be safe Herald." Malik nodded at Solas then turned to continue.
As they reached the bottom of the hill they saw the damage this war had caused so far. House on fire, bodies everywhere. These bodies didn't slowly dissipate into a blue mist like the game, they stayed. Bloodied and burned scattered across the ground. Her stomach threatened to empty itself of breakfast, but she fought and won to keep it down. She felt a shiver pass down her spine as they moved across the once was town.
She could feel the heat across her skin, almost missing the tingling feeling that shot across. She spun around face to face with a hooded figure. Suddenly her skin was on fire, the tingling now muted. She opened her mouth and no sound would come, she fell to the ground and reached for the figure but he was no longer there. She could hear yelling, she heard Malik barking orders. Someone knelt beside her and the tingling slowly returned and the burning subsided.
"Da'len, can you stand?" She nodded.
The tingling got stronger and she spun to her right hands raised, she swore under her breath then took a deep breath. The world slowed down, she focused on a safe bubble forming around her full of light. Safety. When she opened her eyes something smacked her down to the ground but she felt no pain, she lifted herself back up and saw a Mage standing a few feet from her. Frozen. She looked around and saw Solas suddenly beside the Mage. He growled something the the frozen mage burst into frozen chunks everywhere. She almost heaved but forced it back.
"Nehna!" She saw shock and anger flash across Solas face and spun around to a sword coming down above her.
She took a step back willing herself far away and closed her eyes waiting for the blade to strike her, but when it didn't come she forced her eyes open. She was now standing several feet away from the Templar, had she done that? She saw Solas swinging his staff around gracefully as Malik charged the Templar. She closed her eyes and knelt down covering her ears. She was in the middle of taking deep breaths when a hand came down on her shoulder, she tumbled back and blinked up at Solas. He knelt down and gathered her into his arms as Malik was suddenly beside him. Worry evident in his eyes, she saw Varric and Cassandra move to his side with strange looks as well.
"Why are you all looking at me like I've sprouted horns and am now bleeding from my eyes?" She asked breathlessly. Suddenly feeling fuzzy and darkness danced at the edges of her vision.
Da'len, you were stuck by lightning and you fade stepped."
"Yea, so?" The darkness creeped closer.
"You have funny burns across your skin kid." She wasn't a kid.
"Do I look messed up?" She giggled, her eyes so heavy now.
"Nothing healing can't fix, right chuckles?" That was a question, so he wasn't sure.
"She's depleted, a barrier, froze a guy AND fade stepped... I thought fade stepping was advanced?" Malik sounds impressed and worried, can't tell which is stronger.
"Indeed, you are correct on both accounts." Their voices were started to sound far away.
"I dun- don't feel so.. so awesome. It's getting d-dark in here." Her voice echoed through her head. Had someone mentioned something about freezing a guy?
"Solas!" Malik shouted.
"I know Herald!" Solas growled.
The voices echoed more and her skin tingled, like before. She'd frozen the mage.. she thought Solas had. Now that she thought about it.. he hadn't moved from her.. she'd moved form the mage.. fade stepped twice.. she could hear voices shouting at each other, about each other and could feel her body going numb.
The voices went silent and darkness consumed her.
Thank you so much for you amazing patience and support!
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Chapter 9: You Are Who You Weren't
What she sees isn't real, what's real can't she see.
Harder training, more contact and more nightmares.
In the darkness she heard a heartbeat, nothing more than that heartbeat. It was steady but weak. It was small but loud. She couldn't tell if her eyes were open or closed, when she tried to open them she was still surrounded by darkness and that heartbeat. She couldn't find the heartbeat..
"She breathes not. Her soul has left." A faint whisper.
"She will breath, all will not be lost." Whispers grew louder.
She could feel sudden pain erupting from her chest, like someone tore her heart out. In the spot her heart should be was a flame and it burned like a thousand suns.
"Breath." It was not an order, the voice was pleading.
And so she did, a deep breath, the air soothed the flames in her heart as they filled her lungs. The beating of her heart was sudden and caused her to yell out in shock. The voice wasn't her own and the sound she expected didn't come, instead it was crying. An infants cries were heard echoing across the vast darkness.
"She lives, soulless. An abomination." Disgust evident in this voice.
"She lives, a soul will find her. When she needs it." The voice whispered into her ear. Pain and happiness jumbled together, she knew this voice and knew it to be safety.
"They come, give him the child. He will keep her safe. Her time will come." A new voice, vibrated with deep anguish.
"Save her, teach her and set her free. We will all be free one day." The voice sounded proud, not a drop of urgency.
The darkness swirled and light encased her frail soul, it was warm and whispered soft words of safety. She felt a soft warm breeze brush her skin, it's touch gave her a sense of complete sanctuary. She heard sweet murmurs, voices spoke softly and she could hear her name across the ripples this warm sanctuary. A soft and beckoning voice suddenly called out to her.
"Nehna." It breathed, she felt a tug and denied it's call. She did not wish to leave, not yet. 'Please' she called out.
"Ma'nehn, please return to where you belong." Solas voice suddenly called to her in such a sweet voice from so far away but then faded away once more.
"I can never return to where I belong, my home is long gone. I am not who I once was." Her voice was small and faint.
"You decide where you belong, and you chose this world. You breathed life into this lifeless shell. You've created a new story and continued an old one. Do not end it now." The first voice pleaded carefully.
She felt the tug once more and let go of the warmth she now held dearly, this wasn't where she belonged. It's sweet embrace wasn't eternal. As she felt the final pull she allowed herself to flow to it's origin.
"She wakes. Fetch the Seeker." The voice was familiar, but not the voice from the sweet sanctuary. "Da'len, can you hear me?" The voice spoke softly.
All she could do was nod, she couldn't find her voice. maybe she'd left it back in the dream. A cool hand rested on her forehead, another held her hand. She took a deep breath and was met with the soft scent of old books and wood. "Solas." She breathed realizing she'd said it out loud.
"I'm here. Rest, I will not leave your side." His voice was calm, he seemed worried though. She tried to open her eyes but couldn't, "Hush Nehna. Please try to rest, you are safe." He sounded frustrated but she didn't have the energy to resist. Another deep breath and she drifted back into darkness.
This time there were no dreams, but she could hear voices in the distance. After focusing she could catch tiny parts.
"She depleted her mana, she was speaking the truth when she spoke of not believing she was a Mage. She spent all she had in one sudden burst then kept pulling at spent sources." Solas and his fancy speaking. He sounded like he was dumbing things down quite a bit. She could hear a giggle erupt from somewhere distant.
"Isn't she sleeping?" Varric's voice sounded freaked out.
"Indeed." Solas sounded confused. She couldn't open her eyes to see his face.
She was still encased in darkness, a soft wind breathed across her skin, an invisible hand brushed across her forehead once more. The voice seemed further away after this, she couldn't hear them very well anymore. A sweet whisper asked her to rest once more before the voices became but a faint breeze.
She had no idea how long she'd been out, but when she woke she was at the crossroads. The recognized the healers hut from the game, the elf stood by a table with herbs spread across it. Solas sat in a chair beside her, he had dozed off. He looked so stressed and slightly pale. She reached her hand out and brushed her fingers across his hand. His eyes shot open and swiftly grabbed her hand. His gaze focused and his grip loosened but didn't release her hand.
"Apologies Da- Nehna." He stopped himself from calling her Da'len. Strange.
"I didn't mean to wake you or scare you Solas... I should apologize." She couldn't peel her eyes away from his gaze.
"You needn't apologize, I'm please to see you're awake." He was pleased?
"That's putting it lightly Chuckles, he means he was the one that kept you alive after you almost killed yourself. Accidentally we all assume." Varric spoke up forcing her to focus on him instead of Solas.
"I had no idea I almost killed myself, I feel fine now." She thought for a moment and nodded, she felt amazing actually. She took a closer look around and colors were brighter, there were scents in the air she hadn't noticed before. Smoke, charred flesh, animal poop.. she decided to bring her focus back. "I've never felt better." She breathed.
"Well, while you were asleep Herald brought the Seeker, me and some scouts around to do some fetch work." He chuckled. "You got out of that stuff the past few days. Running around while you and Chuckles were all cozy back here." Solas had been were her this entire time?
"I was the only one competent enough to heal you properly." Full of himself much?
There was a cough near the door, turns out he doesn't mind insulting people even when they're in the same room. The cough had been the elf, poor thing. "Now now Solas, be nice." She couldn't help but giggle as she said it. Varric chuckled and Solas looked mildly annoyed. Oops. She could see an icy blue shimmer around him, this was new. It moved around him like a soft mist, it licked at her hand, the one he was still holding. As she focused harder she could feel a cold breath brush her hand, her mouth dropped open as a sound of surprise escaped her lips.
This caused Solas eyes to snap open further and the wispy shimmer settled tightly around him. His eyes narrowed and filled with questions, questions she couldn't answer.
"Well this is weird so I'm gonna go get the Herald, I'm sure he'll want to see you now that you're... more alive." Varric mumbled the last bit while wandering off.
"Well, this means I can get up and do stuff now, right?" She asked Solas as soon as Varric was gone.
"I suppose, we're going to start training tomorrow. A few hours every day." He said with a 'youdon'thaveachoice' voice.
She hummed and nodded, might as well. She was a Mage and had almost killed herself using her newfound abilities. Guess it wasn't like the game, click a button, spend a point and bam. New ability unlocked and perfectly usable. Stupid real world. She sat up, swung her feet over the side of the bed and stood. The whole room was suddenly spinning and when it was no longer spinning she found herself in strong arms smelling of those books and wood. Pine, he smelled of pine! Old books and pine, surprisingly quite the tasty combo for him.
"You must take it easy, you may be healed but you've been asleep for days." Helpful.
She giggled and swung her arms around his neck, "Then carry me to my destination." She said causing her to snicker when his face drew together into a very strange and unreadable look.
"Very well." An eyebrow slowly raised as he lifted her into his arms. "Where do you desire I bring you?" A smirk!
She hummed then wiggled her eyebrows up at him, another funny look earned, "How about out to wherever Malik The Herald is?" She said with a giggle threatening to flood.
"Your wish is my command Da'nehn." Not Da'len? Interesting.
"Don't tempt me Hahren." She was full of giggles this morning! As he carried her out of the healers hut eyes turned briefly to look at her then went back to whatever uninteresting gossip and complaining they'd been up to before. She had no desire anyways to be stared at by random people.
"I take my commitments seriously, shall you feel the need for such temptations." His face entire face was suddenly a deep red, "I meant that if you need carrying or are in need of something I will happily be of service." He was trying so hard.
"Mhm, I'll let you know when I'm in need of temptations fulfilled." She wiggled her eyebrows up at him trying her best to seem seductive. All she got back was an eyebrow up and a small chuckle. Glad to know he wasn't made of cold stone all the time.
He didn't respond but put her down outside a large Inquisition tent, she could hear voices from within. Malik's sounded frustrated and exhausted. Poor thing. She moved towards the entrance flap but Solas was quicker and peeled back the flap. He still had a small bit of gentleman in him, all those years asleep didn't cause him to forget some manners.
"Nehna! I thought you were resting!" Malik's voice reminded her why she was here, "Varric told me you were awake, but I didn't think you'd come to me!" He sounded so cute.
"I figured you may be busy, and laying in a bed doesn't make me busy soo.. I did you a favor by coming to you." She glanced over to Solas who now stood beside her, a face full of neutral bleh.
"You're too kind Nehna, come let's take a stroll." The people in the tent with him made grunting noises, clearly not happy with his wandering off. Cassandra stepped up and said she'd help handle the rest while the Herald to a break. Malik quickly moved to her side offering his arm. Gentleman. She looped her arm in his and they wandered out of the tent side by side.
Solas followed a few steps behind them, Malik seemed momentarily not happy with it but got over it and just ignored him completely. Mature. "I'm sorry if I worried you, I had no idea what I was doing even after I did it. No one's really explained what I did yet."
She could almost feel Solas needing to explain it, Malik smiled and shook his head. "I'm not quite sure what you did either, just something about depleting your mana then trying to continue sucking yourself dry. Not such a safe thing apparently. So try not to do it again?"
"I promise I won't do whatever I did back there. It was never my intention to nearly die, quite the opposite actually." She giggled and glanced back at Solas. Keeping pace still a few steps behind them, his face still neutral and dumb.
"Good. Now I've gotta go back and The Herald, so stay close and rest." He pulled her hand up and gave it a soft peck before heading back the way they'd come.
"So.. anywhere a girl can go for potty time?" She asks turning to Solas, her face heated.
Solas clears his throat and leads her to a small space, the smell was horrible. He rushed off as soon as she'd understood. She did her business in the little space and hurried back to his side. He brought her to the little pond and she washed her hands best she could, everything about this age was sometimes too gross. She required bleach and plenty of hand sanitizer if she ever returned home. Home.. where was home for her now?
"There is some ram stew being served, if you are hungry." Was he her self appointed babysitter or something?
"I guess food is a good idea." She shrugged and they moved towards a small bench.
"Sit, I will fetch us food." He likes ordering her around. Is it an order or a request? Not very requesty.
"Maybe I'll stand." She wiggled her eyebrows up at him.
All she got was a roll of his eyes and a 'very well' before he sauntered off. People gave her funny looks as they passed her by, their attention moved on as soon as they were passed her. The scent of burnt flesh was still thick in the air and if she focused too long on it her appetite began to dissipate. Luckily it was saved as something delicious brought her back, Solas stood before her offering a bowl of stew.
"You look unwell, do you hurt?" Solas didn't drop his stupid neutral look so she shrugged her shoulders. She could play neutral.
"I don't hurt." She stared at her bowl and ate slowly.
"Very well." He countered smoothly.
They ate in silence, as soon as she was finished Solas swiftly and smoothly gathered her bowl and hurried off with it. A small tingle spread itself across her skin, then slowly prodded further, deeper. She quickly cut it off imagining brick walls around her. The tingle disappeared as quickly as it appeared. It wasn't random, it was a someone with a something. Someone prying into her? Creepy. She started to shiver, fear and cold were not her friends right now. As she was starting to wonder if Solas had gotten lost a blanket was draped across her shoulders.
"You should have alerted me sooner, I hadn't realized the cold affected you so." Solas sat beside her with a quizzical look.
"It's not only the cold, but thank you. I'm not exactly dressed in furs head to toe." She giggled.
"Something other than the temperature bothers you Da'nehn?" Him and his titles and nicknames. At least it wasn't Da'len, she'd had enough of that. It had been sweet to hear at first, something so familiar in such a smooth tone.
"It was nothing, probably my imagination." She glances over at him, maybe it was him?
"Maybe, just be careful." He had some worry, so not him. Most likely not him.
"You guys look way to serious." Varric has this magical ability to pop in at the strangest moments.
"Maybe because it was a serious topic Varric." She stuck her tongue out at him.
"Good point." He chuckled.
"When do we leave for Master Dennet? The sooner the horses the better." Solas stood as he spoke.
"We leave shortly, you're welcome to join us or wait here Giggles." GIGGLES?!
She coughed and stared at him wide eyed, "Giggles?" How could he ever have decided on such a terrible nickname.
"Solas told me your name meant joy or something and you're always giggling. Just made sense." He shrugged while grinning at her. "It was either that or Short Stuff. Your pick."
"Neither but if I had rule out the lesser evil, I'd stick to Giggles." Though after considering it for a moment, she was Giggles and Solas was Chuckles. Not too bad a choice...
"Master Tethras, I believe I said Nehna is derived from the Elvhen word Nehn meaning Joy." He smiled down at the dwarf. Know it all with his fancy words, pretty sexy up close.
"Same thing." Varric shrugged again and shuffled off saying something about getting the horses ready.
"Come Da'nehn. I will fetch out packs then meet you by the horses." He pointed in the direction Varric had gone and went off with a quick nod.
She could see Varric and Cassandra arguing about something, she wasn't close enough to hear their voices quite yet. For the first time since she woke she took a moment to think about her dreams. They all seemed to connect at different points. Like puzzle pieces from a puzzle, just because they didn't specifically fit together didn't mean they weren't part of the bigger picture.
"Nehna, will you be joining us then?" Cassandra brought her attention back.
"I figured I'm all good to go, so why not. I'd rather not be stuck surrounded by the smell of burnt flesh and deal with strange looks from these people."
"Glad to hear you've recovered. Solas has offered to train you till we can get you someone you'd prefer." Cassandra was being polite and somewhat nice, it was creepy.
"Thank you, if he's not too impossible a teacher I may stick to him. I hate wild change and desire constant structure." She let fancy wording roll off her tongue, maybe Solas was rubbing off on her.
"Interesting." His voice from behind made jump and shriek, she spun around to see a very entertained look spreading across his smug face. Bastard.
"I bet it is!" She growled and spun away from him to face the others, they too had grins. Varric even chuckled. "I'm glad you're all amused." She muttered.
Solas buckled their packs to their horse then climbed into the saddle, he looked down at her still grinning and pulled her to his front. She started nestling against him finding that specific position. Once again after she settled he wrapped an arm around her and settled into place as well. She felt the blush creep up but no ache, the ache was silent in her heart. She was grateful but had no idea why the sudden change, she still mourned the loss of her old life.
"To Master Dennet we go then, it's maybe an hour's ride from here. We're going to avoid the main roads and rush a bit then focus on rebel Mage and Templar camps after we deal with Dennet." Malik was sounding more and more like the leader he was meant to be.
Everyone grunted their agreements then they rode out, the sudden scent of burnt flesh and the heavy feeling of pain caused her breath to hitch. Solas stiffened behind her and his arm tightened around her pulling her to him gently. Maybe he could smell and feel the same things as her. As they rode she saw corpses littered the grounds around them, tears threatened to spill and lunch made it's threats as well. She had no desire for either, especially right now. Solas leaned close enough now that she could hear feel his breath against her ear. Shivers ran up and down her spine and blush made it's way to her cheeks. Luckily Solas was behind her and not able to see her silly face right now, she closed her eyes and focused on his breathing.
It was surprisingly soothing to just focus on him, she could still feel the heat in her face staying strong and hot. Whenever her mind began focusing on the smells or sounds around her he would somehow notice and whisper things to her, 'relax Da'nehn' or 'Calm yourself, focus'. Some were sweet 'you're safe' which sounded too good to be true. Things were going smoothly till Cassandra's distressed shout caused her eyes to shoot open.
Before them were a group of Templars, Mages and Inquisition scouts fighting. She focused more and saw Cassandra and the other two dismounting to join. Solas hopped down but motioned her to stay. "Stay Da'nehn, we will be quick." He spoke then hurried off to the others.
They were too focused on their opponents to notice her and she was too focused on them to notice a Templar rushing at her and her mount from behind.
Sorry if this chapter was a tad shorter than usual, it feels shorter...
I've been so stressed today but I really wanted to release something.
At least it isn't boring!
I love you guys and your support! <3
Da'nehn = Little Joy
Da'len = Little one
Hahren = Elder also a sign of respect for one older and/or more knowledgeable
Chapter 10: Darkest Past, Brightest Future
She isn't who she was but will become who she is.
Faced with new challenges the biggest one linked to her heart's deepest desire.
I'm really sorry releasing this took longer!
Some eventful things caused slight disruptions in my routines, all should be good now though so enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
She suddenly felt extreme fear, like darkness was closing in around her. Her skin prickled like little needles causing her to swing her head from side to side. Something wasn't right. She hopped off the horse in time to see a figure barreling towards her sword raised high. She had no time to focus and just dropped to the ground rolling out of the way as he brought the weapon down. She swung her head around to face where she'd seen the others fighting and pulled herself up to run that way. She could feel the Templar not far behind her, she just hoped she could get to them before he got to her.
She felt her toes his something hard and went tumbling forward, very ungracefully. She turned to face the figure towering above her once more and forced her hand forward. She willed and wished with everything she had and saw purple ripples wrap around his body, he fell to the ground as his body jerked uncontrollably. She could now see the ripples were little currents of lightning like stuff. The ripples faded and his body lay silent. She'd killed him. His body a heap not even a foot away. Still and breathless.
She hadn't even noticed the others till the sounds of battle rung loud in her ears once more. She picked herself up and moved quickly to stand by Solas. He was leaning against his staff watching as Cassandra finished with a Templar. She watched Cassandra swing her sword around far in a far more graceful way than the Templar before her.
She hadn't noticed her tears spilled down her cheeks till a gentle hand wiped them away, she turned to face him and saw pain in his eyes. "Are you hurt Da'nehn?" His voice was soft, she could've mistaken it for almost caring.
"Not physically." She murmured.
She looked away and felt arms carefully embrace her, to her surprise it was still Solas. "It is never easy Da'nehn. Nor will it ever get easier." Was all he said as he held her.
She watched as Cassandra struck the Templar down and cleaned her blade. She glanced their way but said nothing as she stood and watched Varric search their fallen enemies. After a moment Solas released her and moved forward offering the others any sort of healing. She hadn't noticed Varric till his voice spoke up behind her.
"Damn Giggles, was this you? I know who not to piss off now." He said with a chuckle.
She flinched at his words and refused to turn and see the lifeless body. 'It had to be done' she kept telling herself, 'it was him or me' and she was quite interested in living. She watched Solas heal some small cuts and bruises before returning to her. His face flashed from the neutral mask he normally wore to something more compassionate. "I will live Lethallin."
Calling him her friend gained her a gentle smile and a nod, when Varric joined her side Solas brought back the mask.
"Seems our friend here is getting more skilled at, this." It sounded like he was going to say killing people and decided not to, probably her imagination. She hoped.
"It seems indeed she is gaining more control. I look forward to instructing you late Da'nehn." He looked to her as he spoke.
"As long as you believe she is not a threat to us and others around her I leave her in your care Solas." She felt like some object whenever Cassandra spoke to or about her.
"I'm standing right here, and I'm not some object or pet you can just hand off to someone or decide to take back and break. I breath my own air with my own lungs and move about with my own will. You do not own me and can not 'leave me' to someones care." She growled at Cassandra. She really didn't like her, stuck up little princess.
"If you become a threat I will do what needs doing, you were not raised in a circle. You were not taught reason and control. I do leav-"
Solas cut her off, "Seeker, I believe I just saw a shadow move by that tree. More Templars."
Cassandra spun around and marched off in that direction bringing Varric with her, Malik gave Nehna an apologetic smile then rushed off with the other two. He better not romance her, she'd kill him. She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked over to see it was Solas. Quite the touchy guy right now, she wasn't a broken child. She'd killed a man in self defense. "It was self defense." She breathed.
He nodded and stood in silence by her side with his hand on her shoulder. Tears threatened to spill again but she decided now was not the time. They'd had their moment earlier, now she had to be strong. In a world where people killed each other for something as simple as the clothes on their back or a pretty stone self defense was nothing. She made groaned as she saw the group emerge from the trees some ways away.
"They do not understand us, they are not like us. It would be best you remain silent when she speaks in ways similar to a moment ago. I will teach you and she will learn to trust. For now it's best you not, pick fights with the Seeker." He said smiling down at her.
"Fine, I don't like her one bit though." She grunted before smiling widely at Malik. At least he was less dumb than Cassandra.
"Well, now that we're finished here shall we move on to Dennet? The scenery here isn't quite my thing." He made a face and headed back towards their horses.
Surprisingly the horses had stayed where they were, even after the mad Templar had chased her down. They just stood there munching on grass without a care in the world. Solas slid up into the saddle smoothly then plucked her from the ground setting her in her place. She giggled as she settled back into that comfort spot. She was less surprised but just as embarrassed as his arm looped around her. The heat in her face was more and more familiar today. She wiggled around a bit as they started moving and giggled again when his arm tightened around her.
"Be still Da'nehn. This saddle isn't spacious enough for.. this." She peered up at his face and saw a rosy color deepening across his face.
"But I can't find the comfortable spot." She pouted as soon as he looked down at her.
Frustration evident, "Are you doing this on purpose?" An eyebrow shoots up.
"Doing what on purpose?" She wiggles her eyebrows up at him and giggles.
"Never mind. Be still Da'nehn. Please." His voice dropped at the 'please' making her snicker.
She nodded and settled into her position, after she settled his arm around her relaxed. She dropped her gaze and saw Malik staring at them. A very obvious frown was making her uncomfortable. She gave him her biggest, dorkiest smile she could and hoped for the best. Luckily she got a chuckle out of him before he shook his head and looked forward once more.
It was a quick trip up, they didn't run into any more trouble along the was aside from the rift by the river. Which she told them to avoid for now, this got her strange looks but all she said was it made her head hurt and skin crawl. Solas then advised they return for it another time. She had no idea if the rift was as hard in this world as it was from the game.
"Thank you for helping me convince them." She said lowering her voice.
"I saw no signs of physical pain, but I couldn't see lies as you told them the rift made you uncomfortable compared to previous rifts." His voice was lowered as well.
"Lies are twisted truths, easily tangled yet hard to untangle once you've spun them." Sadness coated her words like a thick syrup.
She must have stumped him because during the little ride left he said nothing, they stopped at the camp and got news from scouts, a quick bite to eat then moved on. They left the horses behind since Dennet's farm was just up and around the hill. Malik headed inside to speak with the Horse Master with Cassandra while the rest of their group waited outside.
"You confuse and surprise me sometimes Da'nehn. You are youthful and full of energy and yet there are moments where the air around you stills and.. and something unexpected is said. You seem wise beyond your years at times." She shifted uncomfortably.
"Thank you? That sounded like a compliment." She turned to him trying to ignore Varric's grin. She was sure he thought this was flirting.
"And you should take it as such Da'nehn." His lips curled into a smile that made her heart stop.
"Is this how elves flirt? Not quite.. flirty." Varric's voice caused her to jump. She'd forgotten he was there.
"Not how I flirt, I play games." She glanced back at Solas with a wicked smile. For just a moment she thought the ache would settle in but it made no appearance.
"What kind of games?" Varric was grinning like mad.
"The kind you'll never know about Master Tethras." She giggled.
"No fun, no details?" She shook her head. "Nothing?" Another shake of her head made Varric pout and grunt.
"The Herald seems done, not quite as satisfied as one would if all went well." Solas finally spoke up.
She turned to see Cassandra looking annoyed and Malik just look confused. Dennet had chores for them before things would go their way, wife needs wolves handled and the guy in the cabin behind them needed guard towers. Malik stood before them and shook his head.
"We need to talk to his wife about a wolf problem and then Bron back there for some opinions. Looks like we'll be around a bit longer, suns heading down so we'll hear what they have to say then handle things."
Everyone nodded, Malik and Cassandra were going to talk to the wife and Bron while Varric, Solas and Nehna were to back to the camp on the outskirts of the farm. Once Malik and Cassandra were done up here they'd head back to camp as well. Every nodded once more then parted ways. Varric stopped to talk to the daughter by the stables and just shooed them on. Now she was stuck walking in silence back to camp with Solas, silent Solas.
Halfway back to camp Solas spoke up, startling her slightly. "I was curious about the games you'd play?" Strange thing to be curious about.
"Oh?" She giggled but kept herself from looking over at him.
"Are you the cat or mouse?" She couldn't help but laugh.
"Maybe I'm a bit of both?" She dared glance his way with a wicked grin before forcing her gaze forward.
"Interesting." He murmured. His ears were pink and he looked thoughtful, cute.
They continued in silence even once they hit camp, a scout showed them to a larg eight man tent and said there would be ram in some form for dinner. Solas nodded and thanked him then moved to unhitch their packs from the horse. She joined him and held her arms out gesturing him to hand a pack over, he looked at her then bowed handing one to her. She was going to start pulling her weight best she could. She followed Solas back to their tent, there were five cots set up inside which meant all five of them would be tent mates tonight. No awkward staring at Solas as he slept. And no nightmares.
"Well there goes a good morning." She muttered.
"You require a tent consisting of you and I to have a good morning?" She turned around and stared at Solas and his smirky face.
"Uh. I require the least amount of people in a tent to have a good morning. I also require a Cassandraless tent to have a good anything." She rolled her eyes as Solas chuckled.
"That I can understand Da'nehn." He was still chuckling as they set up their stepped back outside.
She stood by the fire and sniffed the air, aside from the ram meat cooking there was a sweet scent in the air. It was far away but it reminded her of something in her distant memories. Candy, she was missing candy. Maybe she could figure out a way to make fudge or those little caramel squares. She could say farewell to Skittles and those Swedish Fish. She wondered if she could ever find a way to replicate the flavors, these people wouldn't be stuck in this era forever.. hopefully.
She felt someone stand beside her but they didn't speak, she didn't turn to see who it was. She was still busy listing off farewells to edible addictions. She was surprised no tears threatened to spill as she listed off her mom's chocolate cake and her sister's chocolate chip cookies. They had cake and cookies in this world but she could bet her life on the fact the probability of them tasting even close to similar was impossible.
"What has you so troubled?" It was a scout, someone other than her travel company spoke to her.
"I'm so far from home, and I don't know if I'll ever taste my mother's baked goods."
"I think of that often myself, it doesn't help I know.. but out here memories are all we have sometimes."
She turned and noticed it was an elf, short wispy blonde curls framed his face. He was quite cute and young. Looked early twenties like her. "
"I think it does help as long as you keep it positive, not thinking about never being there again and more enjoying when you were. We may never see home again, so enjoy what you've had." She smiled over at him.
"For someone who looked so lonely I was sure I'd be the one comforting you. I'm Nohlan." He smiled back at her.
"Nehna. You don't seem Dalish, I'm assuming simply because I see no Vallaslin. Alienage?" She couldn't help but pry.
"Yes, Denerim. I was on my way to a farm for employment when.. the Breach opened. I decided to join up after a demon killed most of the group I was traveling with."
"I'm sorry.. so now you're out here. Any trouble with the locals?" She asked lowering her voice.
He snickered, "I've had no more trouble than the occasional flat-ear remark. What about you? You lack the Vallaslin as well."
"I'm not Dalish, but I'm afraid I don't quite know where I'm from. I know I have family, I have jumbled memories but.. I- places and faces are blurry."
"I'm sorry.. If you were raised in an Alienage then maybe it's for the best you not remember." He touched her shoulder gently then stepped away.
She would have to remember his name and face, she hoped this wasn't the last time she spoke with him. She found a dry spot on a rock and plopped herself down. She could see Solas speaking with another scout, that neutral mask on maximum. Though she got the feel he was completely uninterested in whatever the scout was rambling on about. She closed her eyes and imagine her hand reaching out, stretching further and further. She imagined it stretching across camp then booping Solas on the nose. As she imagined the booping she suddenly saw the imaginary Solas snap his head in her direction. She could feel his eyes on her, his gaze bore into her.
For a moment she dared not open her eyes but snapped the ghostly hand back from him and opened her eyes. She squeaked as she saw he was indeed gawking at her, the scout turned her face to see what Solas was staring at. Solas waved a hand at the scout and moved away from her striding towards Nehna. She felt like a child that had just been cought with her hand in the cookie jar. Uhoh.
He didn't stop moving till he was but a step away, she could almost feel his breath as he stood before her. "What were you doing?" He stares down at her, the neutral mask wavering.
"I uh. Well I- just.. I imagined my arm stretching out across the camp and tapping you on the nose." She said forcing a grin up at him.
He looked momentarily startled then gathered his composure back up, speedy. "Fascinating." He stared at her like she had done something extraordinary.
"Is it not normal?" She asks slowly.
"Not with such ease Da'nehn. I saw you sit then suddenly your presence.. touched me." He made it sound like she'd molested him or something.
"Ok so I have an impeccable skill within molesting people invisibly. Noted." She started laughing as soon as he made a face at her choice of words.
"You train your will to control magic and withstand possession so quickly and on your own. Your indomitable focus is an enjoyable sight."
That was so like the line he uses in the game! The heat shot up her face leaving her a tad dizzy, "Uh, Indomitable focus?" She almost giggled.
"Presumably. I have yet to see it dominated. I imagine that sight would be even more... fascinating." He chuckled as his ears turned a rosy shade of pink.
Oh dear gods, an honest chuckle and some blushing! Solas was blushing before her! And pulling flirt lines! She paused for a moment and watched him stare at her in silence, was he actually flirting or was he just conversing? Just because it was a flirty option in the game didn't mean was here. She shifted now slightly uncomfortable but unable and unwilling to tear her gaze away from his. He opened his mouth but shut it as she heard Malik call out to them.
"Well, good news is we can send word to Haven about some guard towers, kill some wolves and that'll get us horses and the help needed for the refugees back at the Crossroads. All in a day's work." Malik looked so proud of himself.
"All this will be done tomorrow, Herald here thought we should finish up today." Varric snorted and continued, "But luckily I convinced him out of it."
Nehna stood to face the group, "Good because I'm starved and dying.. tired. I'm tired." She laughed as they all looked confused at her dying statement.
"Well food is ready now." Nohlan's voice came from behind them. Bless the creature! She smiled brightly at him and went to his side.
"Lead the way good sir." They snickered together as he offered his arm, she linked hers with his and they made their way towards the campfire.
"Well she makes friends fast." Varric huffed behind them.
She imagined all sorts of facial expressions on everyone's faces right now, she did indeed make friends fast. So fast that this was the first since her world. Nohlan handed her a bowl filled with boiled potatoes and smoked ram. She inhaled her food gaining rolling eyes and snickers from the group. Even Nohlan stared at her.
"I've sent a raven with instructions to send men to help set up watchtowers, once they get here we'll have the spots marked. Then they can start immediately." Cassandra sat beside not far from Malik. Nope.
"Good, first thing tomorrow we'll scout out the spots Bron marked on the map for us. Then we head for the cave." Wolves, awesome.
"I suggest Nehna stays at camp, don't need food for the dogs." Varric glanced over at her. "No offence Giggles, don't want to worry about you getting shredded by wolves."
She shrugs her response. "I agree with Master Tethras, Nehna can stay here and study the books I've brought for her training." Solas was siding with them, she couldn't tell if she was happy not facing wolves or upset to be left behind.
"Don't worry Nehna, we'll come back for you. We're not leaving you here." Malik laughed. She must have been making a pouty face.
"I can take her hunting, and she can help with small things around here." Nohlan spoke up, looking a little uncomfortable having so much attention on himself.
"Good, she can learn some useful skills." Cassandra grunted.
"Uh huh." She grunted back and smiled at Nohlan. Luckily she got one back though slightly apologetic looking.
She could feel Solas staring at her again, it was becoming her sixth sense now. She peered over at him and grinned which seemed to surprise him out of staring. He turned his gaze up towards the stars and didn't turn back. She closed her eyes and reached out with her invisible hand, further and further till it got to him. She booped him on the nose again and opened her eyes just as he swung his head back down his eyes snapping to her. His face was slightly flushed. She giggled and stuck her tongue out at him, she felt childish but she caught the grin that danced across his lips.
As his eyes stayed on her she felt heat rise to her face, both now slightly flustered. She felt a soft brush of air across her cheek and almost screeched, her eyes opened widely as she watched an honest grin spread wide across his face. Such a wolf. They were suddenly snapped out of whatever they had going as Malik yawned and grumbled 'good night' shuffling between our line of sight.
"Good night you two, though you should rest. We shall be up early." Cassandra mumbled on her way to their tent.
"Ok kids, ignore her. We're going wake later than we've been doing. She'll be up at the crack of.. right. Good night!" Varric had been standing there babbling before he noticed Cassandra was already far off at their tent.
She watched as Varric and Cassandra stepped out of sight into the tent before looking up at the sky. Her face was still hot and his grin still fresh in her mind. She heard noises beside her and turned to see Solas sit within arms reach of her.
"Do you invade other's personal spaces often Da'nehn?" A hint of his grin still tugging at the corners of his lips.
"Only yours." She snickered.
"Because you're always wearing that mask of yours like it's.. like it's who you are." She didn't dare see what mask he wore now.
"What mask?" He sounded curious.
"The one that makes you look like you could care if you tried but you don't and won't. Like your face is made of stone. Fen'durgen." She turned her head slowly, peering over at him.
He wore no mask, his lips were curled into an honest smile but curiosity was evident in his eyes. She scooted closer and watched him eye her curiously. She stopped when their knees were touching and lifted her hand to his face. He started to move his head away but stopped. He didn't lean back in but didn't move away as her fingers brushed along his cheek gently.
"You always wear a mask to hide who you are, or maybe you don't know who you are anymore." She smiled still gently caressing his face. She was full of courage right now she could still feel her face was heated.
"Are you saying you know who I am Da'len?" She flinched as he went back to Da'len.
He must have noticed he'd slipped up and sighed, as he was about to speak she cut in. "No. I know who you were and who you want to be. Or something like that." She had both hands on his face now. She was enjoying this while she could, gods knew when he'd decide he'd had enough.
"Ah." An eyebrow went up and his face softened. She knew at this point her face was a tomato, the good thing was his face was looking a little rosy himself. What he did next made her jaw nearly drop.
His hand went up and brushed stray hairs away, tucking them behind her ears then began to mimic her motions. Softly brushing his fingers along her jaw then up her cheek and across her forehead. Shivers ran rampant across her body. She dropped her hands to her lap and closed her eyes as she felt his hand sweep back down across her cheek, sliding up and down her ears then brushing down her neck. She hadn't noticed him leaning in till she felt his breath on her face.
She opened her eyes as his hand grazed her collarbone, he was watching his hand till he noticed her gaze on him. He lifted his head but kept his hand exploring as another shiver passed through her body. His eyes darkened as she gasped, his hand was fluttering down her arm now. She leaned in slightly and felt his hand pause but then quickly continued back up her arm and as it stopped at her shoulder his other hand snuck up her back to rest on the back of her neck. His eyes shimmered but it could have been the fire, with one hand grasping the back of her neck softly he wound his other one around her waist.
He pulled her to him as the world slows down his lips press softly against hers. They both lean back a moment then as she opens her mouth to speak but the hand on her neck drags her forward, her hands now resting against his chest. He's pulled her into his lap without her noticing, his arms around her now as his lips mash against hers. She's so confused but doesn't care as she's being pulled in. He pulled himself away, his eyes dark and filled with unmistakable desire. She couldn't help it when a strange whimper escaped her lips. Solas looked momentarily started before leaning in the brushing gently across hers once more before he released her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
Thank you so much for your patience and love!
Fen'durgen = Stone Wolf (a reference to his mask of stone)
Chapter 11: Moonsea
Her frustration is real as he sets himself along a path she has long known about.
Confrontation and possible heartbreak, why the complicated types.
Hey you guys! I know I'm not posting every day but I try to squeeze chapters out when I can. Easter being over for me means back to work. (Job courses..)
Thank you guys for the patience! Enjoy this chapter! ;)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When she'd opened her eyes he was gone, she decided to sit there on the cold ground a while longer. Hoping if she sat here long enough he'd be asleep by the time she forced herself off the ground. Luckily she'd been right, or seemed right. As she'd popping silently into the shared tent Solas didn't stir. Her heartbeat sped up but she quickly moved to the last cot, which happened to be right beside him. As soon as she lay her head down she'd fallen fast asleep.
She was standing in a dark forest, little wisps illuminated the way. A little path visible in the dim light. She took two steps then two more, as she took a few steps at a time she felt a familiar presence. She glanced around but saw no one. She started moving quicker trying to keep her eyes on the path. The wisps were fewer and fewer the further in she wandered. She could still feel something stalking her, not harmful but it still made her weary.
Once in a while she saw something that sparkled a certain way or movement that made her stop and search the darkness. Never straying from her winding path. She could hear voices up ahead, and she could see the light up ahead. As she stepped forward, a familiar light embraced her and caused her to blink furiously. She could hear the voices more clearer but the light was so bright she couldn't see who spoke.
"The child lives yet, a soulless husk of who they were meant to be. One day they will breath till then, you shall watch over them and keep it safe." A new voice, female.
Her eyes began focusing and noticed a the female stood over a male figure, a small small bundle in her arms. The male grunted then accepted the bundle into his arms. She saw no light from the bundle, no threads, no bonds. She feared the bairn was gone as it lay still in his arms. She reached out to the small thing, wanted to see, feel it breath.
As she reached out mists begun their shifting, swirling into a new scene. This one was still bright, the familiar male figure held a lifeless body. Blood pooled around him as he wept. "Ma' bellanaris i'tel ma..." She only caught the first bit, 'my eternity...' the rest was unknown, too advanced and he'd spoken softly.
Her mind was jumbled. The man weeping was the man who'd walked with young Solas, the woman he held was the same as well. She was also the same who'd been pierced by a sword. The man was not the same as the one who'd lost his other half to childbirth. They all had the same energy, the same brightness around them. The female laying lifeless in his arms caused an ache in her heart, like she should know them or even care. She pulled her gaze away from the scene and stared at her feet, she waited for the scene to change but it did not.
"Ir abelas ma' falon." Her head swung up, Solas. He stood above his friend with unmistakable pain in his eyes.
She stepped forward, once again hoping to sooth him only to have the images shift and fade into something new. This time she was somewhere dark, the sound of trees rustling and flowing water confused her. She heard no voices and not a soul was in sight. She moved forward stepping onto golden tiles that lit up, the light was soft and a marvelous shade of blue. She bounced around on them watching the tiles light up then fade. They seemed familiar but when she tried to pull forth whatever thread was tied to the memory if threatened to snap.
After a few more tries she gave up and moved forward, stepped through halls with tiles on the walls creating images, stories even. Statues decorated the area, by every door and in every hallway. She noticed a few wolf statues and touched one as she passed only to jump back as her hand came in contact with the cold stone. She moved forward and reached her hand out once more. Her fingers brushed across the smooth surface and giggled. This was the first place she could interact with. She heard footsteps behind her and saw a hooded figure rushing towards her. Her eyes shut as he neared then snapped open as a cold breeze passed through her, she spun around and saw the figure had simply moved through her.
She dashed forward keeping up with him. She followed as he twisted through hallways and burst through doors like a man on a mission. The final door flew open and revealed a larch chamber with a small bed. Dark curtains were draped elegantly around the bed, what was behind them hidden behind them. She glanced around and saw two more figures were already in the room looking tired, they had Mythal Vallaslin. Elves.
Neither of them spoke, they both nodded then the other one left, leaving her alone with the figure she'd stalked and the masked bed. He moved forward pulling the drapes back. She gasped and saw a small body, a young elf girl. She had a long braid and a beautiful gown, greens and golds covered her body. Her face had color but her chest didn't move. She looked like a doll, her body still and breathless yet life still clung to her skin.
She inched closer, now standing at the bedside with the child's body within reach. She heard the figure speak behind her as she reached for the frail child, but as her fingers brushed the lifeless child she felt herself suddenly being jerked back. The scene suddenly changed and burst away, leaving her standing there in nothing but darkness again. She could feel something in her tugging. Before she could think another thought her eyes flew open.
Solas stood over with worried eyes. "You wouldn't wake, for just a moment your.. you stopped breathing." He raised his hand and a soft blue glow flowed to into and around her.
"It was a bad dream, one I couldn't pull myself from." She said trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. He wasn't buying it.
"Were you alone? Harmless dreams do not simply-"
"I was alone, it was nothing but a bad dream Solas." She cut in and sat up.
He moved away from her, but still held his frown. She gave him a look that hopefully told him to back off then moved off the cot. Luckily he seemed to get the point and left the tent without another word. As she sat her thoughts were rude and reminded her of their last interaction. She felt the heat rise to her cheeks and stormed out of the tent and right into Cassandra.
"Nehna?" Cassandra's voice was confused and maybe a hint a worried.
"Good morning Seeker." She grumbled and stared as the back of Solas head.
Cassandra followed her gaze and actually smiled, "I see I'm not the only one who's annoyed with the apostate this morning."
"Him being him, a hobo elf apostate little.. ugh." She groaned as her turned to face them.
Cassandra turned back to her and nodded with pure understanding plastered on her face. She thinks she understands, she'd let this be a thing for them. A good start to not hating the Seeker. Solas had a false smile on, he was most likely acting slightly amused by whatever Varric was talking about. His brows drew together but she didn't keep staring at him to watch it form completely. She spun around and headed towards the potty spot.
When she returned their stuff was packed and everyone else was by their trusty steeds. Time to be left behind. She could feel herself in pout mode, Nohlan noticed her and now stood in front of her. "Shall I teach you to ride or to hunt?" He asked standing in her way of the team.
"Uh. Neither if I could have my way.. But let's start with hunting."
"As soon as they leave I'll take you up the path near the stream. We have to be careful though, as you may already know there's a rift there and on the opposite end there's a wolf cave. They've gone crazy so stay close." She giggled.
"Aye aye captain." She got a strange look from Nohlan but he left with a smile.
She walked up to the group and smiled at everyone, other than Solas. She tried her best to ignore him. She could feel his eyes on her but didn't give him her attention. Malik gave her a hug and told her to stay out of trouble otherwise he'd leave Cassandra with her. Cassandra grunted a very unhappy response but managed a wicked smile down at Nehna from her horse. Varric asked her in a hushed voice if she'd broken Chuckles. She stifled a laugh as Varric looked between Solas and her.
"He was mean so now I'm being mean back. Very childish but I'm young and impatient." Varric looked confused but walked away looking deep in thought.
She was sure Solas would ignore her, so when he did she wasn't surprised. As she watched him ride off he didn't look back. She took it upon herself to take a deep breath then blow it his way, imagining it being hot and softly caressing his ear with a sweet whisper of anger. She almost burst into laughter when his head swung right round.
"Da'assan, ma nan nadas." Was all she heard in her ear. Little something, his something is inevitable? Uhoh. Doesn't sound good.
She gave him a wicked yet angry smile then spun around hoping he watched her go instead of the other way around. She closed her eyes and focused a peek, quite content when she saw him eyeing her with frustration and something else. Something like sadness. No longer content she unfocused and stared at Nohlan.
"You ready?" He asked her slowly.
A small nod and they too were off, she hoped the day was quick. She'd never killed anyt- an animal. She felt her stomach flop as it remembered the Templar and his limp corpse. With her luck the day moved quick enough. She was terrible with a bow but Nohlan had an abundance of patience and was a great teacher. He said he grew up helping around the orphanage when he wasn't doing anything else. She'd manage one straight shot but was grateful Nohlan felt she wasn't ready for live targets. She was ordered to keep practicing on a tree stump. He got a nug while she stood there sending arrows flying at the stump.
"You're improving fast but still you're still not holding your elbow up right. If you hold it that way for too long you'll damage a muscle. Lift it up further- too far! Have you really never touched a bow? Well it's obvious but still.. no lessons ever?" He rambled on and off keeping her mind and body busy.
After her fingers were swollen and stung he told her the lessons could end. They headed back towards camp with growling stomachs and an unhappy Nehna. They ate lunch and chit chatted with the other two scouts here at camp. She had to guess it was afternoon, somewhere between two and four. He'd had her practice for quite a few hours and she didn't really mind.
"After lunch is settled we'll head up and ask Seanna to help with riding lessons. Master Dennet's daughter." She knew who Seanna was but nodded and made an 'ah' noise.
"I've never ridden, I've touched a horse or two but never really.. been around one for too long." She must have seemed prissy or something because all three scouts stared at her.
"Elves don't have nobles right? No princes or princesses?" One female scout asked. Her name was like Elinor or Elinar.
"Not as far as I know. It's dalish or alienages for us." Nohlan said with an eyebrow perked.
"Strange.. she has no scars, no Vallaslin and she's never done things everyone has done. You sound pampered Nehna." Elinor/nar said curiously.
"Interesting. Well I'd say food's settled so shall we?" She ignore Elinor/nar and stood offering Nohlan a hand.
"Brilliant idea, horses ask less questions and tend to not give strange looks." He said with a stiff smile glancing over at the two other scouts. 'Humans' he mouthed to Nehna.
They headed up to Seanna and with a giggle she taught Nehna how to mount properly. Which took a while. She was short and had very little muscle so heaving herself up took far more effort than she was used to. Nohlan tried really hard not to laugh the first few times she fell flat on her ass, but after the sixth or seventh time he keeled over and the laughter erupted. Seanna even joined in with a giggle or two. She kept trying to convince her and most likely herself that it wasn't that hard and she'd get the hang of it before too long.
They spent hours like that and when she finally got herself up smoothly she flung her arms up and shouted words of joy. This however was not acceptable to her horse and wound up flung a few feet off him. Nohlan and Seanna rushed to her side with worried looks. Her breath decided not to join her lungs and after some sputtering she was able to squeeze some in. Her chest ached big time and she was sure her knees and elbows were scraped up. As soon as she could breath properly without wheezing she glared at the horse.
"Well lesson learned." She coughed.
Seanna and Nohlan chuckled but still looked somewhat worried. They hauled her off the dusty ground and got a chuckle from Seanna as she groaned in pain.
"We've all been there, some sooner than others. You should have seen me the first time I was flung off as a little girl. My Father went crazy smacked the horse and yelled at me for flailing my arms instead of holding on. You're lucky I don't remember his words exactly or you'd be hearing them." Seanna said with an evil grin.
They walked her back to camp, she had a bit of a limp and could feel her tailbone was quite upset with her. Nohlan thanked Seanna for the lessons and shooed her home. He helped her the rest of the way and was pleased to see the group still hadn't come back. Would've been far too embarrassing. Not that it was all that less once the scouts noticed her state and giggled. A few coins went from Elinor/ar's hand to the other scout's. Her first bet.
She told them she was going to nap and to not disturb her or else. She could tell her threat didn't bother them a bit but nodded and said not to worry. As she lay in the tent on her little cot she could hear them laughing. Hopefully not about her, though she dared not doubt it. They'd started on some food by the smell of it and so she drifted off to sleep to the smell of wood burning.
"Nehna? Nehna." She was being shaken awake by someone. Her eyes popped open and focused on the face, it was Malik. She felt slightly disappointed but quickly shoved it aside when she remembered how Solas was handling their midnight exchange.
"Why hello there handsome." She purred. His face was suddenly bright red.
"Nehna." He cleared his throat, "Nehna, I'm told this damage was a horse and nothing to worry about."
"I was thrown off the horse. Apparently they don't like it when you shout and flail your arms about while mounted." She frowned but giggled when he made a face.
"I'm surprised no one warned you. But most people should know not to.." He shook his head and snorted.
"I'm not most people."
"I know Nehna. Stop pouting, I'll send Solas in to check the damage and maybe heal a bit."
She knows she made a face and contemplated asking him not to, but really didn't like the burning pain and ache. So she smiled, nodded and thanked him. When Solas entered he had the mask on, no smile just blank. He nodded at her then told her to lay still. She stared at him as he raised a glowing hand and let it slide across her body just an inch or so away from her skin. She could still feel the heat of his hand through the cool flow of magic. She gazed up at his face as he worked and felt her brows draw together.
"Last night.. bothers you so? I know it was a mistake da'nehn. I didn't mean to act impulsively."
He was knocking her to the side like in the game, just much sooner. Nope.
"You regret it and will never do it again?" She asked her tone clipped.
"Indeed. I promise it won't happen again." He shook his head and stood to leave. "You're injuries were minor and have been healed." At that he stood and moved towards the tent's entrance.
"Don’t share the past, if you won’t share your heart." She murmured, the lyrics to a song was far too fitting at the moment.
Solas heard her and stopped then turned to face her. A curious and pained expression made her heart ache momentarily. He stood thinking for a moment then moved back to sit by her side.
"What do you mean by that?" He asked obviously trying not to sound to curious.
She knew only bits of the song but quietly sang the words she knew,
It is a cruel dream.
From up so high, I can hardly decide
If you’re waving hello or waving goodbye.
Here in the moon scene
It is a cruel dream.
Don’t share the past, if you won’t share your heart
All that we share is the view of these stars.
Solas sat there staring at her wonder and frustration. He opened his mouth to speak but quickly shut it. She watched him struggle for a moment then shake his head.
"You astound me da'nehn." He said in a frustrated tone.
"Moonsea. I used to sing it to myself often, I don't exactly have a great song voice but I've been told I don't sound like screaming cats so that's a plus." She offered a smile.
She got one in return, "You are far from that, you have a soothing voice. Moonsea.."
"I don't want you to regret.. what happened. I get you'd need to think on it. You got all day and your response to it all is 'it won't happen again'? I think not, you make a move like that you better be prepared for handling the pieces. That includes the possibility of not dropping it and tucking tail." He made a face at 'tucking tail' but stayed silent.
"I don't want to be smooched then dropped, I don't appreciate it at all. I feel used or like it was like you just needed some lip action then felt it was a good one time deal. I'm not a one time deal, you don't just drop something like that like it's some 'oops'." She had raised her voice a bit but remembered to lower it due to people. Outside.
"I understand da'nehn. But please understand things are.. complicated. Whatever it is or was can't just be. I need more time to think. To understand. I never thought- intended on just playing with you. I don't know why I kissed you." He was right about complicated.
"Just think long and hard fen'durgen. Before you decide to tuck tail and hurt me. You may not know me as well as I know you. I've watched you for a long time Solas. I figured once you ran off to bed you'd do this." She sat up and quickly kissed his forehead. "Just know I'm not going to break if you drop me, I may bounce back with force." She flashed him a wicked grin and dashed out the tent before he could respond.
She was mildly sad she hadn't been able to see his reaction but was scared of her own if he tried to 'dump' her before they'd gotten further than their midnight kiss.
Moonsea - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZVzMTt2UTk
Ma' bellanaris i'tel ma = my eternity without you
Ir abelas ma' falon = I am filled with sorrow for your loss, my friend
Da'assan, ma nan nadas = little arrow, my revenge is inevitable
Anything else needs explaining? Don't be afraid to comment and let me know! <3
Chapter 12: Dream of Faded Times
More frustration with the elf she desires.
She's losing sight of who she is and was.
She feels safe yet so afraid, who is she now?
It's only like 3,000 words long so I'm sorry it's short.
I wanted it posted and felt it couldn't be continued with more without it becoming 2 chapters in one.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
This time she rode with Nohlan, he'd requested to be her trainer or something. Made a good case about learning to wield a bow properly and there would be no riding without a companion for a while. Solas hadn't said spoken against it but she figured he wouldn't. He had the mask of 'Idon'tgivetwofucks' on right now. Joy. Cassandra had completely agreed and would sent word for a scout replacement via raven. Varric kept asking Nohlan questions till Nohlan cracked and between fits of laughter retold her horse flinging adventure.
"That's going in a book, you know that right Giggles?" Varric wheezed.
"Do as you please, at least I know I'll be in them." She said turning to glare Nohlan.
Nohlan just snickered tapping her on the head. She snorted and swatted at his hand which only gained my chuckles and laughter from the group. Excluding Solas. He was busy reading a book. Lame. She didn't have to close her eyes to reach out and boop him on the nose. His ears twitched and an eyebrow inched up but he didn't look up. She almost made a noise of frustration but decided against it and leaned back into Nohlan. She felt him tense for a moment then relax, she could have sworn he snuggled a tad closer as well.
Riding for Haven took much longer than their ride from Haven. They stopped up and around places, helped a widowed elf get her dead husbands ring back, closed a rift of two, took care of a few crazy Apostates and Templars. She stuck to throwing ice at enemies, it's like imagining a snow ball forming in you hand then as it hits your opponent it spreads. It tends to work better on apostates. She lets the team do the killing, she's not ready for it yet.
"Varric told me you're a new mage, which is really.. uncommon for an adult. He also told me your first kill wasn't, intentional. I'm sorry." Nohlan stood beside her shoulder to shoulder.
"I'll recover and be ready, just not yet. I need more control more.. understanding. I think Solas is just avoiding me so I'll have to find a new teacher." She sent a quick glare at the back of said hobo's head.
His ears twitched but he didn't turn, he really was ignoring her. This was his attempt at dumping her before they'd gotten anywhere? This was worse than the game. An ache settled back into her heart. No the same as before but similar. Stupid wolf.
"Are we done running around killing things here yet Herald?" Varric huffed exhausted.
"For now Varric, we'll head to the camp above the Crossroads then head out at first light. Don't want to be out here while it's dark." Malik shivered. Someone's got dark issues.
Nohlan helped her into the saddle then climbed on behind her. He was only a tad taller than her and wasn't built like her- the hobo. He had good arms most likely due to the archery stuff. They snuggled closer once settled and giggled together. As they headed for camp her eyes did the droopy thing and she let them, today had been too much and she was exhausted. She felt an arm wrap around her and smiled. Nohlan whispered something about resting and not too worry.
When Nohlan shook her awake they camp was in sight, her everything from the waist down ached. She was starting to hate riding and was not happy with her inexperience. She asked them to stop so she could walk beside them as the headed for camp. Luckily Malik and Cassandra said they were in a safe enough zone for it so down she went with multiple grunts and groans. Nohlan tried not to giggle but a hand over the mouth doesn't do much. She wanted to boot Solas off his horse and watch him fly but decided it was the worst idea she'd had yet.
Once they reached camp Nohlan went straight for a tent and was most likely setting it up. The other scouts there nodded at him then went about making food. Her stomach all but roared at the smell, reminding her the other camp had made food while she slept. She found the best spot possible and not so gracefully plopped herself down on the patchy spot of grass. Her stomach made more strange noises before a scout offered her a bowl of tasty looking goop.
"I forgot to wake you for food earlier! I'm so sorry Nehna!" Nohlan plopped himself down beside her repeating apologies.
She kissed his cheek and patted his head, "No worries, don't poke a sleeping bear. It's best I ate now instead of being woken."
"Ah, oh. Good." A pinch of blush spread across his face. "I'll try to remember that then." He said grinning.
"Stop flirting with the help Giggles. The poor thing's just a boy." At that her own face lit up.
"I'm not a boy! I'm a man." Nohlan puffed his chest out and almost everyone at camp burst into fits of laughter. Obviously excluding the hobo.
"Sure you are kid. I bet there's not a speck of chest hair on you." Varric puffed his own chest out, all the ringlets of hair fluffed up. Kinda gross.
"I- uh no." Poor Nohlan.
"Chest hair is gross anyways." She grunts. Poor Varric pouts.
"You wound me and my hair."
"Mhm, I'm sure you're real wounded. If I'm going to spread feathery kisses across my lover's chest it better be smooth. I don't want to pull away with little hairs in my teeth." She said while scrunching up her face. Chest hair and bushy pits were the biggest turn off on the world. And as far as she knew.. Solas didn't have any of the nasty hairs tha- stop. No hobo love. She forced her thoughts away from the hobo elf and turned to see Nohlan staring at her with very rosy cheeks.
The next few hours was more small talk, jokes and tales before people started shuffling off to their respective stations and tents. She was in a three man tent this time with Solas and Nohlan. Cassandra offered to switch with Solas but she told her she'd rather torture Solas through the night. Cassandra snorted and said something along the lines of 'place nice' but dropped it and retired. Torturing Solas wasn't completely her reason, she just wasn't ready to try and get along completely with the angry witch hunt mob that was Cassandra.
She decided to stay out again while people headed for bed, she felt someone behind her but didn't dare check who. She'd have preferred Nohlan, at least her flirts carefully and sweetly. Not like nothing then BAM a kiss but wait! It was a big oops. Then gets dropped like a hot potato. She understood he was in a complicated situation. She understood he'd been asleep and out of action for a long long while but still. Common courtesy isn't that hard, you don't just forget how to say please and thank you after a long nap.
Footsteps behind her reminded her she wasn't alone. She closed her eyes and felt someone sit beside her. She took a deep breath and caught the sweet forest and really didn't want to face him.
"Da'nehn. I apologize. I did not think things through and did not intend on hurting you so." He spoke softly.
"I know you've only known me for a total of eleven days, it's not that much. But don't go smashing your lips into other's unless you're ready for more. I don't know everything about you, I never claimed to have such knowledge. I only know enough to make my own decisions." She opened her eyes and looked him in the eye. "I have feelings for you, I have for a long time. But understand I will not be played with then discarded from a moment of fun." She leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder.
She felt him tense and shift away slightly, but he quickly decided not to and settled back into place. Did he really have that little interest in her? He just felt a moment of horny then once it was handled he was done. She felt insulted and frustrated. Stupid game and stupid Solas and stupid fiance. Her fiance. He'd get so pissed with her kissing another. There was no sign of her jewelry, not a surprise though. She'd kinda been sleeping, or trying to at least.
"I acted on impulse. I saw something I wanted and I took it. I did not think past it." He shook his head and lifted a hand to her cheek. "Da'nehn. Please fogive me, I can not give you what you desire. Not yet." Bleh.
She was annoyed, should have gone with Cullen. Nohlan was still.. no. People are dumb. She thought long and hard while under the constant gaze of Solas. She drooped her head and sighed. A loud and annoyed one. She flung her head up and moved fast before he had time to think. Her lips brushed against his, her arms wrapped around his neck trapping him. Her breath uneven against his lips. His eyes flashed an icy blue and he tugged away from jut a moment before pulling her to him. She was cruel and she knew it. He growled which made her jump and pull back slightly. Big no no. Solas wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his lap.
"Da'nehn.. this is no simple matter. I don't know what you expect out of this." His voice unsteady.
"I expect nothing, well nothing more than respect and to not be cast aside like a broken toy once you feel done with me." She panted.
His lips found hers again and groaned as she nibbled on his bottom lip. She could feel him stir beneath her but made no move to stand. They sat like that, deep kisses and hushed moans. Her body ached and she knew what would fix it. His eyes stayed glowing that little blue haze while his hands moved up and down her back, when they finally settled it was on her ass.
"I can't give you normal ma'nehn." He too now panted.
"If I wanted normal I wouldn't be involved with fen'harel." She snickered as his eyes darkened.
"Very well. You have been warned da'assan." He whispered into her ear.
Shivers passed through her body as he placed soft kisses along her ear and gets the occasional growl when a moan escapes her lips. He had somehow magically undone the first few buttons of her shirt and was now placing devious little kisses along her collarbone. They suddenly heard the bushes near them rustle, she barely noticed as Solas move but he was suddenly standing with her tucked behind him.
"Relax knife-ear. We want nothing to do with you, we're here to speak with the Herald. They were Templars, swords out and creepy smirks on their faces.
"Sure, speak. I'm sure plenty of speaking gets done with sharp objects out." She growled.
"You'd be surprised knife-ear. Plenty of other things get done with sharp things out." There was a deviously nasty grin sliding across his face.
"Sorry, stinky Templar traitors aren't my type." She spat at him.
She peeked up at Solas and saw his face was a neutral mask again, she could tell he was aggravated and processing things. The Templar was accompanied by three more smelly Templars.
"Looks like you're currently outnumbered. Fetch the Herald and uh, leave the girl." He actually licked his lips. "We'll be nice and gentle."
Solas actually growled at them but made no moves. She quickly closed her eyes and focused on stretching back towards the tent, she slipped through and smacked Malik across the face then unfocused. She could hear Malik scream and shout but then some shouting by Cassandra. She turned to see the entire group shuffle out noticing the Templars. There were some mumbling from one of the other tents and the scouts popped out as well.
"Seems you're currently the ones outnumbered stinky." The front Templar snickered and commanded his men forward.
Solas pushed her back causing her to stumble and fall to the ground. Solas suddenly held his staff in one hand and the arm of a Templar in the other. As the Templar swung his free fist forward his body began convulsing. Solas took several steps back and swung his head around. He focused on Nehna and his eyes widened. She pushed herself off the ground and stood with her held high. Three more Templars forward from behind various bushes and unsheathed their weapons. Solas had been too busy staring at her to notice two Templars stepping towards him, swords raised high.
Nehna took a single step forwards and found herself in front of on Templar, she grabbed his helmet off and smacked him with it. Still dazed he attempted to focus on her. She heard a loud grunt and smacked the Templar again with his helmet then spun around and saw a Templar standing over Solas. He was grasping for breaths and looked pale and feeble. They must have done that mana sucking thing. She took another step towards the Templar before Solas and pushed him, and yet for some reason he went flying in the direction she'd pushed.
"Da'assan, how.. wha.." He huffed and sucked in more air.
"Hush you stupid wolf." She spun back around at the sound of a battle cry of sorts.
Her previous opponent had brought himself back to now, and had apparently decided it was in his best interest to try again. She moved forward so she was but an inch or so from his face and felt a wicked smile spread across her face, this caused the Templar to whimper and try to take a step back. She wasn't having it so she focused on reaching out to him with her invisible arms and reached deep into his chest. She tugged and squeezed at something, his face paled and he sucked in a ragged breath.
"Please!" He whimpered.
"Feeling mighty yet Templar?" She growled.
"Nehna! Stop!" She heard Solas behind her. He could wait.
The Templars eyes widened further and she could see a pale glow reflected in them. Her eyes? Were her eyes doing the pale purple glow.. She stepped back and released the Templar. He staggered back before crumpling to the ground sobbing. She hadn't done something that horrible.
"Nehna.. I don't understand.. how.." Solas wrapped his arms around her and spoke softly in Elvhen.
She couldn't understand most of the words but calmed herself. She stared at the sobbing mess of what once was a Templar and got angry. Supposed to be strong and hold peace or something. What kind of a mess was this creature? Ungrateful for all that he's been given and all he's to be a example of. She growled down at the whimpering Templar causing him to scoot further away but didn't meet her eyes.
"Nehna calm yourself. Look at me." He pleaded.
She dare not, she could feel the heat in her body. She was still not in control completely. She was tempted to reach out and smite the little whimpering creature. She lifted her arm and focused on the thing before her. That invisible hand slithered forth and along his body. He screamed in pain even though she didn't think she was hurting him.
"NEHNA!" Solas shouted in her ear and spun her around to face him. His eyes shot open and started swearing in Elvhen. "Nehna, calm yourself. Stop. Breath, please?" He seemed worried and scared. Not of her but something else. She huffed a sight and began breathing deeply. She heard Varric and Cassandra yelling something. Might have heard her name.
"I will take care of her Seeker, please leave her to me." Solas spoke as he tucked her face into her shoulder and ushered her somewhere.
She opened her eyes and looked around seeing the crumpled mess that was once a Templar. His body twisted in ways it shouldn't be. He was at the base of a tree and it then hit her, it was the Templar she'd pushed. She whimpered and stuck her face back against Solas chest. No tears came but dry sobs decided it was okay without them.
Solas ushered into the tent and settled her into a cot. He didn't speak he just undid her foot wraps and tucked her in.
"I don't know why." She whispered.
Solas must have heard her because instead of leaving he shifted to sit by her side. "If you use magic while emotionally unstable you break the balance in your soul."
She pulled herself into his lap, her head rested on his legs with her face nestled into his stomach. While she wrapped her legs around behind his back he shifted as the to stand but a whimper made him stay. He wrapped his arms around her and softly ran his hand through her hair. She could have sworn she heard a purring noise erupt from her lips as she felt herself fade away into sleep. "You are safe ma'nehn.." She could have sworn she heard Solas whisper before her mind went blank.
She was starting to understand where she was, this wasn't a dream. Not really. They were memories. In the fade. She'd been dreaming and wondering through memories in the fade, it explained why she couldn't change or interact with the swirling mists. Now she stood in an empty space with little balls of light floating about. She missed normal dreams but didn't mind this. She thought of her her old room when she lived with her parents, she could almost see it in her head.
She felt the air around her change and parts of her old room formed, no walls just the furniture. She almost did the arm flailing joyful shout but decided against it. She pushed all but her bunk bed from her mind and watch the area around her follow her thoughts. She stood before her old bunk bed, favorite sheets and crayon marks included.
"I'll be damned." She breathed.
She curled up under the covers and imaged a dark bubble around her and her bed, imagined it being hard and impenetrable. She imagined someone punching it and it acting like a resistant blob of jello. She then shut her eyes and breathed in the sent of home. It smelled like she had barely remembered. She could smell her mother's vanilla perfume and the apple fabric softener in the pillow. All around her it felt of home. So it was there she lay and breathed in the smells of home. Safe and alone with herself and a piece of her old self.
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Chapter 13: Desire and Loneliness
Struggles with her past, ignores the present and fights for the future.
Why does he toy with her like this?
When she woke next it was dark aside from a small lamp on the floor between her cot and another. She heard breathing from the other cot and sat up. She still felt tired but it was more of a 'slept too long' kind of tired. She felt the chilled air against her skin and noticed she was wearing a tunic and her smalls, but that was it. She looked around trying to find shoes or something else but could see nothing. The person from the other cot stirred and sat up. She jumped and shrieked as the shape turned towards her, a small ball of light appeared above them.
"Solas." She breathed.
He smirked and slid out of his cot. "I'm glad to see you're rested."
"How long have I been out?" She ignored his smirk.
"Since this evening, I am afraid you missed.. soup."
"By the sounds of it, it may have been for the best." She giggled.
"Indeed. I can fetch you some bread if you need something?" He moved towards her and sat sat down beside her, on her cot. Hips touching.
"Uh, not yet. Maybe later. But thank you." She could smell him now.
"Very well, the offer shall remain then."
She glanced up at him then back down at the little lamp between their cots. She saw his hand reach for her then pause. As he began pulling back she turned and grabbed his hand with both hers. "Thank you for taking care of me." She whispered and let him retreat back to his cot with a nod.
He laid back down on his cot with his back to her. She curled up under the covers of hers and stared at him. After a long moment he turned to face her, with that one eyebrow up. Curiosity and amusement was written all over his face. He lay there a moment staring back at her before she felt heat rise to her cheeks.
"Why did you kiss me? You've known me a total of a month or something." She blurted it out.
"I admit, I did not think before I.. the kiss was impulsive." He frowned.
"I know you want to think because you're you. You don't know me like I know you." This made him frown more. "I mean more, I know a version of you. But so far the versions I've seen.. you don't differ from them all that much."
"Versions? Elaborate, please." He was no longer frowning, she'd peaked his interest.
"I'd be willing to tell you in better detail once we get back to Haven. It's hard to explain." She was going to have to figure out a good way to make it all make sense.
"Very well." He eyed her, obviously not wanting to give the topic up but let it go.
He continued to stare at her as she stared back, she couldn't peel her eyes off of him. Even from here she could see the purple in his eyes swirl. They didn't speak for a while, even worse neither could look away. Finally he spoke up.
And so she closed her eyes, he gave in first. Not her.
When she woke she was alone in the tent, the cot beside hers was made and empty. As she shook herself awake she heard hushed voices outside. As she crawled out from under the warm covers she dared place her feet on the ground. It was cold and slightly damp, but she couldn't be prissy forever. She forced herself up and out but moved quietly towards the entrance. Fully intending on listening in on the conversation outside. She could hear Varric quite clearly, his hushed voice was barely a whisper. As for Cassandra, it's like she didn't care but Varric kept hushing her. Solas had a lowered voice, but it wasn't a whisper.
"We should leave her at Haven the next time we go out." Varric wasn't wanting to keep her around.
"I think we should keep her with us for now. I don't know how the people of Haven would care for her."
She didn't like the strange tone Cassandra had, she didn't sound like she trusted her quite yet but didn't think she deserved a horrible death anymore.
"I believe she would be better suited in Haven as well, however her magic is new to her and she would remain untrained." Solas spoke softly.
"Yea but we have no idea how she'll handle these trips and, honestly, how much help she will be while freaking out at night and keeping us all up as she screams."
"Varric, I am sure we understand the discomfort her nightmares and the lurking horror brings you.. but try to imagine how she feels." Was Solas standing up for her?
"Yea I get it.. I just don't like it. She's so small and seems so frail. But then.. the Templar and, her using magic is creepier."
"I understand how she feels, and I know how you guys feel. So maybe for her and us she stay with us. I'd hate to ditch her back in Haven because new is scary. In that case I should be ditched in Haven." Malik spoke louder, then near the end lowered his voice. Must have noticed his voice was raised.
"Well then, since we are all in agreement, Nehna stays with us. Solas, you mustteach her to control her magic. We can't have a mage throwing herself into battle or being this open to possession." Cassandra's stern voice gave her shivers.
"Understood Seeker." She heard shuffling and saw a shadow outside the entrance. "Now that you know your immediate future, would you join us Da'nehn?" Solas asked her in a soft whisper.
"Don't wake her Chuckles, let her sleep." Varric said loudly.
There was silence then she heard Solas move away from the tent, "Very well Varric." She imagined a smug smile as everyone else believed she slept but he somehow knew she didn't.
She counted to a hundred and something before stepping out, hopefully with a successful attempt at looking sleepy or fresh from dream land. Everyone glanced up then swiftly away after each one gave their version of acknowledgement. She let her eyes land on Solas but almost jumped when they did. His eyes were already on her and as soon as she looked at him their eyes met. His eyes didn't move from hers even as she moved away from camp, it wasn't until she finally had to turn her back to him that she'd been tensing most muscles in her body. With a loud sigh she relaxed and headed for a safe potty spot. With the morning duty done and her face rinsed in the nearby stream, she headed back.
She didn't want to admit it, but she was dreading the trip back. A trip anywhere. Funky dreams by night and annoying company by day. Her life was so messed up, all she'd wanted was pretty much this but in a very verydifferent way. She could pull the memories of a bright red controller in her hand as she stared at the tv screen, unmoving, as she pressed buttons and did quests. Running across the map to do random things and chatting up specific locals.
"Nehna, you will ride on your own again today. Nohlan will ride close to you." Cassandra said, suddenly at her side.
"Uh huh. Roger that."
"Roger what?" Cassandra's eyes narrowed.
"Uh, I don't know. It flew out of my mouth. Maybe a saying back home. Like yes ma'am?" She mentally smacked herself.
Cassandra eyed her but didn't say anything else as she rushed off. She glanced around camp to see if anyone else had picked up on her earth talk, luckily not even Solas was eyeballing her. He was busy giving Nohlan strange looks. She moved her gaze to Nohlan and giggled as she saw him glaring at Solas. They both stopped with the strange looks they were giving each other to move their attention to her, because she giggled? She sighed and rolled her eyes then made her way towards the little pot over the fire. Luckily for her there was enough for a small bowl full of funky porridge. She could really go for a cup of sugar or a handful or raisins.
She saw someone move and glimpsed over to see Nohlan moving towards her. He stared down at her for a moment before plopping himself down beside her, he cast her a smile then looked up at the sky. Strange little elf. He kept her company while she forced the mushy bland porridge down. He didn't say anything even as she placed the empty bowl in front of her. The sun wasn't quite up yet, but it's light cast shadows through across the clouds. Pinks and purples swirled across the sky as the sun rose slowly, the clouds shifting and creating new fluffy images.
At least the sky looked the same as back home, no green sun or funky cloudless mornings. She was suddenly very aware of someone watching her, somehow she knew it wasn't Nohlan. She peeked over at him then moved her gaze elsewhere after noting she was right. Her gaze floated over towards Solas and found him to be the source of the feeling. He was indeed watching her, the stone mask in place. She stuck her tongue out at him and burst into giggles as his eyes shot open then narrowed into a strange glare. Something flashed in his eyes but was gone too quickly for her to understand.
Nohlan jumped beside her and shook his head, a smile settling upon his lips. She got the giggles under control and shot Nohlan a smile. He glanced back at Solas and shook his head, obviously not understanding. Which was probably for the best. Her eyes slid back to Solas but found disappointment when she found his face buried in one of his books. Such a bookworm. Nohlan shifted beside her, as she turned back to face him he was standing. He offered her his hand and a smile, she accepted one and returned the other.
"So I hear you suffer nightly from terrors in your sleep, do you remember them?"
"No." Answered too quickly.
"No? So you just wake up and they're gone?"
"Yes." Another quick reply.
He hummed before speaking again, "Strange. Not even a lingering feeling or a flash? Just.. poof?" She dared peek at him, and was annoyed by the strangely quizzical look on his face.
"Indeed." Was all she grumbled before spinning around and attempting not to stomp off.
She decided to stomp off to a random tree and drop down to the ground, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She missed things and was starting to regret the old desires of wanting to be a part of this world. She missed take out, fancy coffee drinks and her music. She started humming a little tune and ignored the sounds around her. Imagining headphones covering her ears, the tune picked up and drowned out the crazy world around her. She could feel eyes on her but ignored them, her tune continuing smoothly.
When she felt done she opened her eyes but kept her gaze up at the sky, clouds as fluffy as could be floated by. At least this way she could imagine being home, somewhere with electricity and internet. She missed people, granted the faces and names were fading and fading fast. She couldn't picture her mother's face but could hear her voice sing sweetly from a distant memory. She couldn't remember what road her grandparents lived on anymore but she could picture fuzzily the blue swing set in the back yard.
She stopped pushing her brain as she felt tears threaten to spill, she didn't know who was watching her and would rather not have a fit around them. She needed to be stronger till she figured things out. Maybe this was all a dream or a strange alternate universe thing. Maybe one day she could go home. She refocused her gaze on the group, all had their eyes on her. Some filled with awe while others had questions and curiosity burning. She let her eyes dart from each and every pair then landed last on Solas, his eyes gave nothing and yet everything away. He wasn't an open book but it wasn't like he couldn't be read, right now maybe he couldn't pick one emotion or thought.
Cassandra cleared her throat causing everyone to come back to life and shuffle off back to whatever their duties were. Solas kept her eyes locked to his, unblinking and unmoving. He stood from his little log and moved towards her. She kept her eyes on him as he slowed and stood before her.
"I have never heard that before. One of your own?"
"No, I'm not good with music." She smiled up at him.
"It was.. different. Very unlike anything I have every experienced. Even in the fade." He returned a soft honest smile.
"Glad I can still flabbergast people. I do quite enjoy the looks on their faces."
"I do enjoy being, amazed." Amazed, smooth.
"Then I shall keep up the good work." She laughed as he nodded then turned away.
He headed back to the log, grabbed his book then headed to his horse. He packed it away quickly before disappearing back into the shared tent.
"We head out shortly, so do what you need to then mount. I could really use a warm bed and a some warm tavern ale!" Malik's voice boomed out.
Everyone mumbled assorted yes sir's and such before bustling a tad quicker than before. Took them all about five minutes to be set and ready by their mounts, including Nehna. Stood idly by just giving her little horse sweet attention. He still scared her a bit, he was big and she was the opposite of that. He also would swing his head around faster than she could move so she'd get a face full of mane or get head butted.
"You excited to ride by yourself?" Nohlan's voice made her jump and almost scream.
"Why does everyone sneak around? Make some noise or something!" She huffed.
"Maybe you need to learn to hear better?" Nohlan gave her a wicked smile leaving her face flushed.
She huffed again but decided against snarky remarks. She crawled up and settled as comfortably as she possibly could on her horse. He made funny little noises but seemed content none the less. Malik sent out another 'let's go' and then a final 'move it out' as everyone was mounted and good to go.
It took them only two days and one night to get back to Haven, far more eager to get home than out to the Hinterlands. Most of the time she sat further away from the group in silence or somewhere more secluded humming and singing to herself. Whatever song came to mind, she would keep her world alive that way. The more often she tugged at memories and faces that faster they faded. Her dreams would leave her confused and scared. She woke once expecting people to be around her, she felt hands at her throat and little things invading her mind. She rarely felt alone.
Solas didn't speak to her during they're trip back, she wondered if she should tell him she was engaged. Once was or still is? She couldn't tell if this place was real or not, she was still pondering the idea that she was in a hospital somewhere in a coma and this was all a very intricate dream. She ran her fingers through her mounts mane spacing out completely. Her attention pulled back only as Malik yelled something about Haven.
She forced her focus on the view ahead of them, Haven stood there in the snow. Soldiers surrounding it sparring, Cullen wasn't visible so that meant he was going to be.. by the Chantry with the wrinkly nasty old man. Every started hopping off their mounts and handed it off to random stable hands. A petite human boy offered to take her's in a soft voice. She gave him a sweet smile and offered an apple from her bag, his eyes lit up and he gave her the cutest grin as he hurried off with her mount.
She went off towards the tavern but stopped and turned away, she was tired of people so she headed back down towards the the dock by the lake. She sat down on the dock and smiled, huffing out little puffs of air. She hated winter, it was cold and wet and just more cold. She closed her eyes and imagined her body heat flowing out a bit, like a little bubble and imagined it solidifying enough that it held it's position. She popped one eye open and noticed the planks in her space weren't covered in frost anymore and she crisp wind wasn't hitting her either.
"Impressive." Solas startled her to the point of screaming this time.
She swung her head around and saw him standing a few feet away, hands tucked behind his back and all elegant and such. He hadn't spoken to her the entire trip back but suddenly wanted to chat?
"What's up?" She mentally smacked herself as she realized that was not common.
"Uh, up? Are you asking what things are up? Going up?" Solas was absolutely confused.
She couldn't help but laugh till her stomach and cheeks screamed in pain. "I meant did you need something?" Her tone a bit colder than she'd meant for it to be.
"I was curious as to why when I returned to our cabin you were nowhere to be found, so I scavenged the area and found no sign of you."
He'd been looking for her? Strange. "I won't tell a soul about you. You don't need to worry I'll tattle and run." She said while looking back towards the lake.
"Nehna, you've shown no trace of disloyalty. I shall try to display more faith." He said each word slowly. Convincing himself perhaps.
"Oh Solas, if only I believed that. You trust no one but yourself, even that seems iffy. I don't expect to be trusted, believed or any of the above. I just want to figure out a way to go home.. well help close the hole in the sky then go home. I don't fit in, I thought I would but I don't. And things don't make sense, it's like an upside down staircase and I'm standing on it facing down at people prancing around without a care." She nearly bit her tongue off trying to end her rambling.
"I.. see." No he doesn't. He seemed confused, conflicted and even more uncertain of her.
"Yea. Mind full of uselessly confusing thoughts. Not one is helpful towards my situation. I know a version of every single one of you and I'm starting to forget how.. I can't remember my mother's laugh or the smell of home, but I can remember the color of her eyes. I know she liked baking but I can't remember her favorite color. I think mine's purple, like the little swirls in your eyes.." She lost track of what she meant to say as he took several strides toward her.
"Yes?" His eyes were unreadable and dark.
She swallowed the ball gathering in her throat, she felt his heat envelope her and shivers raced down her spine. He reached out and brushed whatever loose hairs he found behind her ear. His touch left those spots burning and empty. She tried to find new words but was finding nothing to fill the silent void. He closed in on her and melded his body to hers, his eyes bore into hers deep dark desire swirling in the depths. His brows drew together and a moment of confusion crossed his face. Before she could even ponder what it was going on he bent down and brushed his lips sweetly against hers.
The kiss started off soft and simple, but as she pushed her body hard against his he deepened it. A moan escaped his lips as she wrapped her arms up around his neck, causing her body to slide up his ever so slightly. She wished she could see him, his eyes and all his emotions as they stood on that dock locked together. His arms wrapped firmly around her waist as his tongue found and fought hers. They finally broke free of each other, panting heavily and gazing into each others eyes. Unspoken desire falling off in waves around them. They dare not release each other as the magic might disappear as quickly as it appeared.
He tangled his hands in her hair and tugged her towards him slightly, "You seem to cause a lack of control Da'nehn." He huffed.
"Might we find our way back to the cabin?" She said in a small voice and dared glance up at him.
Several emotions danced across his face, his eyes deep with desire. "We might.." Was all he said as he released her and moved off back towards what she presumed was the cabin.
I'm so sorry it took this long to post!
I just got a new job and work Mon-Fri morning to evening, and I've been too lazy and tired to try!
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Chapter 14: Small Update!
Soooooo here's the deal...
Hey guys, I'm so sorry it's not been added to in a while.
Deal is, a lot happened to me after I finished the last chapter.
Went through some really big changes in my personal life, good and bad.
Things have FINALLY settled and so I'll be back at this again now, you all should see a proper chapter update in the coming days or weeks.
Thank you all soooooo much for sticking it through and I'm sorry life popped in the way, no more though!
STEAMY SOLAS ACTION HERE WE COME!!!
Chapter 15: Soft Words and Rough Past
Who is this woman?
What is her past?
Nehna is losing focus and a familiar face is confusing her more than anything else now.
As she sat there on the bed in that little cabin she couldn't help but fidget. Solas sat in a chair pulled up close to the bed and was currently leaning back staring at her. She knew he wanted answers, she knew he had many questions and as of this moment she too had many questions of her own. She felt his eyes on her and was starting to feel as though she had less answers than had questions.
"So Da'lin, do tell why you seem to.. raise questions and yet you answer so few?" He asks carefully.
She sat there for a moment in the quiet cabin, only the crackling fire and the sound of Solas breathing surrounded her.
"Solas, I used to dream and I had only dreams of places and people that I never knew and would never know. I'm starting to think I even dreamed my family and all I was." She paused as Solas leaned forward urging her to move on. She took a deep breath and tried to sort out some of the events in her mind, "Anyways, I had vivid dreams of you all here, but it wasn't real for me. I was like... reading a story book."
He gave a slow nod looking very puzzled, then sighed before leaning back into his chair once more, questions began pooling in his eyes and she could feel the bubbling in her stomach. She could feel the air got heavy and her nerves were rattling about with the silence growing longer.
He sighed before speaking, "So you dreamed about me?" Was all he asked in a careful voice.
She'd have thought he was flirting if it weren't for the stone face he held now, the only emotion she could sense was curiosity and frustration. She gave him a small nod before tucking her legs up and wrapping her arms around them, she felt like a child who'd done something wrong. She knew he was cautious, maybe to know if she that this was all his fault? She knew he would do anything to undo what he'd once done.
"What kind of... dreams? How much of me did you see?" He sounded slightly nervous now as he asked her.
"I saw you interacting with everyone here, the Herald and the Inquisition grow. The hardships and the battles. I saw the outcome of what became as to what was planned..." She felt very nervous, this wasn't part of the things she knew and could remember. This story was starting to deviate from what she knew. They'd only known each other for a few weeks now. Somehow he'd already begun kissing her when in her dreams he didn't kiss anyone till long after.. after Skyhold. It was hard to be, she wanted to be clever but she was too busy watching her old self fade.
"So have you seen before or only after? Do you know what came before? How much of the outcome and-" She held her hand up.
"Solas please, my memories are fading and I'm afraid all you're doing is causing them to run faster. I don't remember how I got here much less what I've seen."
She stood and as she turned her back to him she caught a glimpse of him piercing his lips together. He was annoyed and confused, probably even worried she knew all about him and what he planned. She was a little afraid now not knowing the lengths he'd go through to bring his people back. The pain he must have felt, watching them all fade from him life and the empty feeling as the fade was all he had of them through his slumber. She could feel her eyes getting heavy all of a sudden and could hear humming in the distance. "Wha.. Solas can you hear that?" She asked closing her eyes.
"Hear what?" She heard his voice echo around her.
The humming got louder so as she turned to explain it to him she instead found herself in a large and well lit hall. It seemed like an open area for various things, bookshelves were scattered across the room and the walls covered in murals along with candles glowing a blue-ish green. The colors in the murals were calming, they depicted events through a time long lost and had swirls of gold about them. This wasn't the cabin room but it felt familiar. She could hear the humming outside the large arched doorway behind her. She followed it and found a woman walking back and forth slowly rocking a child. She hummed a tune so calming she herself wished to sleep and dream of the joy this woman hummed. She saw her look at her and a calm smile spread across her face. "Come child, you are so beautiful now. My dearest friend has taken good care of you."
She looked around and so no one else but herself, she took a step forward and waved at the woman. She recognized her or felt as though she should. She watched as the woman floated smoothly closer, she felt the cold breeze as she took slow steps around her.
"My child you're much more than I ever thought you would be, your magic outlives us all.." She breathed around her, the woman smelled of pine and vanilla and stood only a pinch taller than her. Her face was surrounded by the same dark luscious curls as her own. She also had the brown eyes she herself once thought to have but as she turned her face and saw her own reflection, she saw her eyes were now a pale lavender and currently glowed a familiar purple glow.
She heard footsteps from far away and saw the pain in the woman's eyes now.
"I'm so happy I got to see you my sweet, to see all was not in vain, it was worth dying for." She lifted her hand and brushed the back of her cool fingers along her face, they felt misty and barely there.
She heard footsteps get closer and heard the woman ask her to follow, she went around a corner and through low arched doors. The same ones she'd seen before. She entered and saw a man with long dark dreads partially bunched up on his head. He turned but didn't seem to see her, only the woman with the small child in her arms.
"Solas." She breathed as he looked directed at her but shook his head as though she was something out the corner of his eye.
"My friend, you must go now. I have the child and my husband will arrive shortly to take care of the rest. You must go now and finish this before it's too late."
"I shall not leave till he gets here, I watched... I have suffered... you two..." His voice drifted off as her surroundings fell away with only a a fading image of the woman's face.
She could now hear the sounds getting louder outside, she could feel the earth move beneath her feet. The humming woman looked back at her and smiled. Her image fading slowly like dust in the wind, she could not pull her gaze even as she heard Solas in the distance,
"When the heavens threaten to spill, one shall find the strength to hold back the sky and mend a broken heart filled with the pain of his people..." Her voice carried melodically through the rumbling air around her, she closed her eyes hoping to hold onto her image a little longer.
As she held her eyes shut she heard a sudden and loud crackling noise, like thunder during a rough storm and as it echoed through the dark emptiness she stood in, she could feel herself begin to float.
Then there was nothing.
OMG you guys I'm so sorry it took me this long and that this chapter isn't longer.
In "ITALICS" is Elvish. I'm afraid the world has a limited list of Elvhen.
ALSO, OMG I DID NOT EXPECT ALL THIS LOOOOOVE!
1511 Hits, 120 Kudos and 31 bookmarks and I haven't even updated in FOREVER.
Thank you so muuuuch!!
Chapter 16: Little Whispers
What's this little melody haunting her?
She dances around that little flame with such a bright light.
When she woke she was alone in a dark room, she felt around and felt she was in a bed. The only light was a sliver of moonlight falling through the curtains that draped across the windows. As she sat up she felt a tinge of pain shoot up her arm causing her to groan in pain. In that moment the door opened and Solas was suddenly by her side, likely having fade stepped just to move quicker. She glanced at her arm and saw silver veins were now partially crawled up her arm, they were laced around her fingers and danced around along her hands, slowly winding up along her wrist like vines and fading out just short her elbow.
"Wha..." Was all she could muster.
"You passed out in Solas hut and he had to hold you down." She heard Varric say from the doorway.
"You were muttering in a nightmarish state, I was afraid you were in the midst of a possession." Solas said softly. "You.. spoke Elvish in a purer form. As you did a-"
He was cut off by Varric, "Funky glowy stuff burned it's way up your arm."
"Thank you Master Tethras." Solas said with a sigh, "I was able to pour enough mana into your system to slow it's, flow."
She could feel a slight sting and stared at her arm, she wondered if it was still growing. She suddenly heard a loud booming voice that could only be Cassandra. "WHERE IS SHE?!"
"Now now Seeker, Nehna is fine. Just fell a bit sick." Varric hopped in front of Cassandra hoping to slow her down.
Impulsively she covered she new markings by wrapping the blanket up to her chin and felt like she looked as embarrassed as she should be, with 3 random people in her room while she lay in bed. Cassandra stood before Varric, nostrils flared and ready to stomp on him by the looks of it. Varric glanced at Nehna before shuffling out of the way then leaned against the door frame still looking ready to hop out of the little hut.
"Is she possessed Solas?" She asked through gritted teeth.
"No Seeker, she had not eaten and was exhausted from her travels. She is still learning to use magic and I find it more likely she drained her mana than anything you have in mind Seeker." Solas said standing tall between Cassandra and her.
"And you're sure?" She asked eyeing Nehna carefully.
"I'm, ok?" She speaks up for herself peering around Solas and his silly protective stance. "I don't think I'm possessed. Just feeling under the weather." She said carefully.
"What the hell is all the fuss about?" She heard Malik's tired and grumpy voice. "Can't a Herald get any shut eye before the world comes crashing down?" He asks with a sigh.
"Little one crashed." Varric said with a shrug.
"I'm just tired. Can everyone stop thinking I'm about to become the big bad evil itself?" She felt the images from her strange dream still lingering. She needed everyone to leave so she could focus, this wasn't real and yet it was seeming more and more real.
"I believe it would be best for Nehna if we all retreated and let her rest, she is still new to her magic and these things will happen." Solas said staring at her, his face blank, his eyes however were filled with questions.
She could hear grumbles and mumbles alike but after a few get wells and strange looks they all shuffled out leaving her with Solas. After a moment even he stood, she stared back at him for a moment and remembered how little the game's graphics didn't compare. The scars and dimples were less of a dent and more of a mark across his pale skin. He looked down at her with such a curious look before sighing, he sighed a lot. "I too shall leave you to rest Da'len." He said softly before bowing then heading for the door.
"I uh, want you to know you're all real to me. As real as anything I've ever known." She said carefully.
Solas paused at door with his hand hovering over the handle, "Thank you Da'len." He said before disappearing into the night.
It was night already, it hadn't been that dark when they'd arrived. Had it been? She pulled herself out of bed and looked around comparing this life to the bits she remembered from her old life. In the other world she'd had electricity and not power, she didn't have to boil water of heat it with magic. She missed her little devices. This was an era she hadn't been able to imagine herself in ever, such an age where things were so much less and so much more work for such a little thing. She looked around the room once more and as her eyes settled on a little mirror hung on the wall she felt herself shrink away. Who was she? She sauntered over to the mirror and took the first real long look at herself. She had short brown curls bouncing all around her face as it parted down the middle, she saw her pointed ears peeking out of her hair, as she touched the tips she shivered. Sensitive- noted. She ran her hand through her hair and smiled, it wasn't any different from her pixie cut in the other world. She let her eyes travel down, she was wearing one of Solas tunics, she felt the heat rise to her cheeks. She hadn't changed when they'd gotten back. She shook her head and made a face before looking back at her reflection. Her shape hadn't changed much, still slender and petite aside from her hips which differed a little from what she remembered her Inquisitor had. She caught a glimpse of her eyes and and as she scooted closer her jaw dropped open in surprise. Her eyes were now a light shade of purple with green specks floating about. Her eyes had always been brown, hadn't they?
As she shook her head she caught a glimpse of a person behind her in the mirror. She spun around and saw no one, she felt something close by but was not a threat. She pulled on her boots by the door but stopped as she was very under-dressed. She grabbed the leggings off the little shelf beside her and threw them on after sliding her boots off. After having thrown on some layers she yanked the door open and rushed out into the silent night.
She could feel something or someone but they weren't a threat, as far as she could... feel. She quietly made her way past the buildings scattered throughout Haven and made her way down the stairs that lead to the front gate. Haven was so much more and so much bigger than it had been made to seem in the other world. It had been a small area with so few buildings compared to the amount of people that had stood off to the side and such. Other world was now what she caught herself referring to her world now. Not home or the real world, just other world. Not a good sign.
She was trying so hard to focus now on the feeling of dancing wisps around her, like a song drawing her in. No one else noticed it, not the guards chatting quietly or the few people hanging around outside. She squeezed through the open front gate and hoped no one noticed her strange sneaking about. She was feeling light headed as she tiptoed away from the safer walls of Haven and out into the night by the frozen lake. She stepped out and took a small step onto the lake, the moonlight dancing across the specks of snow and cracked ice. She could music playing around her, soft drums and strings playing soft notes causing lights to dance around her. She closed her eyes and giggled feeling little tingling wisps flutter along her skin. The sky filled with stars brighter than she'd ever seen and she felt the air around her heat up, a warm breeze brushing her face as she opened her eyes she was standing before the lake. However it was no longer frozen, the grass around her was bright green and there wasn't a sign that winter had brushed this area ever. She could see creatures of all shapes and sizes leaping around her, dancing to the soft melody that played through the air with the gentle breeze. The air with filled with the smell of spring, flowers blossomed all around and leaves rustled in the gentle breeze.
She found a path that led around the lake and through some trees, not so different from the one she'd seen countless times, somewhere. In that moment all that she was and had been, all she'd known and though to have known was a distant dream. As she followed the path it began to change and wind itself up a mountain like path. She found herself before a great gate across an long bridge, she was in the mountains and surrounded by clouds now. The gates parted revealing a wide bridge leading to an enormous castle. "Skyhold" she breathed as a the moonlight peeked around a cloud and cast it's gentle light across the castle. She bounded across the bridge quickly rushing through another set of familiar gates, the well lit courtyard was empty of life other than the wildlife that called it home. There were fireflies illuminating the area around her as crickets hummed throughout the yard. Vines crawled their way up the walls and pillars and trees grew tall and luscious, there were signs of the area being well maintained but not a a soul in sight. She could feel herself being pulled towards a garden she could see around the corner as she took slow steps through a large archway.
Before her stood a graceful statue made of what looked like white marble. It was an Elvhen woman and it looked a lot like the woman in her dreams.
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