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You Change Everything

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I’m falling, dizzy, disorientated. I can’t make up from down, left from right. There’s cold air blowing against me but I’m helpless to stop it. Then an icy shock takes me. I’m still moving but the world around me is dark and cold and I can’t breathe. I’m sinking now, deeper, deeper. I see little, hear nothing. I try to make my limbs work but they don’t listen to me. My lungs are burning and I can see a cloud of silvery bubbles above me in the dark. I yearn towards them but they drift away.

The pressure grows, the pain mounting until I can’t stand it anymore. I open my mouth and ice floods in. Then everything is peaceful, calm... and the darkness carries me away.


Awareness creeps up on me. I linger in the haze between waking and dreaming, basking in the warmth and comfort. The fog lifts a little, and I come to the realisation that I’m not alone. I can feel someone pressed against me. An arm draped across my waist with fingers brushing the skin of my abdomen.

I tense and wakefulness hits me like a speeding truck.

What the fuck is this?

Sleep always finds me alone in my bed, with the possible comforting weight of my cat across my thighs. I don’t go to sleep with anyone and I never wake up with company.

I’m afraid now. Who is this person? I shift, trying to somehow move away. The arm flexes and the fingers press into my skin.

The sound of gentle breathing makes itself known to me. Whoever they are, they’re still asleep. And now I notice something else. There’s something firm pressing into the skin of my backside.

My cheeks burn and a flush spreads like wildfire down to my chest.

Oh god oh god oh god.

I’m in bed with a naked man. And he’s hard.

And I’m naked too.

I like to sleep nude, so this usually wouldn't bother me. But now?

My breathing quickens and I try to take deep breaths through my nose. Whoever they are, I don’t want to wake them up.

I pause and try to take stock of my situation.

Whatever I’m lying on is not exactly soft. It feels more like padding over hard ground. I’m mostly covered by a blanket and when I peek out I notice two things immediately. One, it’s fucking freezing. And two, it’s dark as all hell. I can make out a dim orange glow coming from somewhere nearby. There's enough light to pick out a few details but not much more. I can hear something too, a sort of muted howling, like the sound of a strong wind coming from a long way away. The smell of the place is familiar, but I can’t quite place it.

I debate trying to ease my way out from under his arm and out of the blanket. But I’m nude, and from the way the air feels, it’s like I’d be naked outside on a winter’s day. I try to think up a plan.

The penis pressing into my backside is a little distracting.

Think think think. What’s the last thing I can remember?

I close my eyes and focus. Flashes of my room, my laptop, my cat, my office… they all come and go. But they feel like old memories somehow. Or… like trying to remember a dream.

The effort does not make me feel better.

The tips of my nose and ears are icy. I duck my head back under the blankets. The smell is strange and not unpleasant. I can smell him. It’s a sort of musky, masculine odour with a hint of something more, something wild. The smell of a forest after it rains.

I realise I need to look at him. I need to see who this person is at least. At the moment he’s a complete unknown, and all the more terrifying for it.

Slowly. I’ll take it slowly. No sudden movements. Just turn over as though I were shifting in my sleep. If I’m careful I can keep his arm more or less as it is.

My muscles are tense and for a moment I worry that he’ll somehow notice this. I begin to shift my weight, to ease myself over. When I’m lying on my back I stop.

His arm is now draped across my stomach with the fingers brushing the skin of my hip. It’s much lower than I want it to be.

Something feels strange about my body too. I can’t place it though. It’s probably just this whole situation freaking me the fuck out.

The breathing next to me is still, even, deep. Warm breath touches the skin of my neck. His head is very close to mine.

I turn and look.

It takes a while for details to emerge. There’s not much light and my eyes have trouble making sense of what I’m seeing. He’s facing me and we’re almost nose to nose. I pull back, trying for more perspective.

The first thing I realise is that he has no hair. Orange light glimmers along the smooth skin of his scalp. Then my gaze is drawn down, to his single, visible ear.

No. Not possible.

My eyes pick out other things, other familiar features. A strong nose, slightly hooked. Deep-set, long lashed eyes ringed with the bruised flesh of someone who does not sleep often or well enough. Soft, full lips, parted now. A dimpled chin.

I’m staring. I can’t seem to tear my eyes off of that face, that beautiful, familiar face.

Then I realise that of course I’m dreaming. It’s the only possible explanation. There’s no way this situation could be real. No way I could be naked in bed with him.

It’s not as though I haven’t had similar dreams, similar fantasies.

My mindset shifts. It’s not frightening anymore. Not strange at all. There’s something different about this dream, to be sure. But I have a very vivid imagination.

My arm moves almost on it’s own and I bring my hand up. There’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time now. I reach towards that beautiful face and trace the tip of my thumb over his bottom lip.

It’s soft and smooth, and twitches under my touch.

His breathing stills and he opens his eyes.

I can’t make out their colour, although I know it. A dark grey-blue, like the sky moments before a storm. Right now, I can make out that they’re open but all I can see are two small points of orange light.

“You are awake," he says.

He seems to realise where his hand is and withdraws it. I can feel a distance now between us that was not there while he was asleep.

“I apologise for the situation you find yourself in," he continues. "It must be disconcerting, to say the least. I assure you my reasons for this were related only to your well-being.”

I’m not sure what to say to this. How is a person supposed to react to finding themselves naked in a stranger’s bed?

“I… don't…” I pause, then start again. “Where am I?”

Something flickers across his face. An expression of relief? Surprise?

He sighs and I feel his warm breath blow across my neck and face. “We are in a small cave, taking shelter from the blizzard.”

“Blizzard?” I ask.

His studies me in silence for a moment. “How much do you remember of how you came to be here?” He stresses the here, as though it has some sort of extra meaning.

I shake my head. “Nothing.”

This dream is becoming stranger. Usually by now there would be less talking and more, well, doing.

I roll over onto my side so that I’m facing him. He pulls back a bit so that we’re not touching. I can still feel the heat of his skin against mine.

I reach for his face and he catches my hand. His grip is firm, not painful, but strong even so.

“You fell into this world before me. Happily, you landed in the deep snow. Unfortunately, you were not clothed. I found this cave and invested considerable effort into warming you and keeping you alive. We are trapped here for the moment, until the storm passes.”

The sound of his voice has a soothing, hypnotic effect, but the meaning behind what he’d said catches up with me.

“Fell into this world? What do you mean?” I ask.

Certain things are lining up in my brain. Certain impossibilities and the incredible realness of this supposed dream.

“I had hoped you would be able to tell me,” he says. “All I am certain of is that you fell from the Fade to land nearly at my feet.”

I shudder. ‘Fell from the Fade’ is an expression I know. But none of this is familiar otherwise. Only him. We’re in a cave taking shelter from a blizzard? Where though?

I close my eyes and try to think past the growing sense of dislocation. This is wrong. All wrong.

He didn’t say anything about a rift. He didn’t mention Haven. I’m not in a cell with an angry Seeker demanding answers. All wrong.

Never mind the fact that all this is impossible.

I realise that there’s a good, non-sexual reason that I’m naked with him. That whole shared body heat thing you see in movies or read in books. He’d been trying to keep me alive and I’d responded by touching his face and reaching to do it again.

Oh fuck, this is all wrong.

“Are you well?” He asks.

I shake my head. I don’t know what to say anymore. What to do. This is all too much. Too big a mixture of my every fantasy and possible nightmare.

“Turn over to face away from me.” It’s a command. “And I’ll resume holding you. It’s clear you’ve not yet recovered.”

I blush and cover my face with my hands, but I do as he says. All things considered, it’s easier not to see him right now.

His arm wraps around my waist and he pulls me flush against him. I’m acutely aware of every point of contact, especially of the firm length pressed against me.

“I apologise for any discomfort and for my current… state.” His breath brushes my ear. “It is not my intention to be inappropriate, but some things cannot be helped.”

He’s so warm and I realise that I had actually become cold. It’s hard to relax and I’m so, so aware of him.

“Rest," he says.

“I’m sorry.” I reply. “I’m sorry for putting you in this position.”

He chuckles. I can feel it in his chest. The double meaning of my words becomes clear to me and I blush even more furiously.

“You wake to find yourself naked in bed with me, and you apologise to me. How curious.”

I shake my head again and say nothing. What can I say? How can I explain to him that I know him well enough to know that he’d never do anything inappropriate. Hell, I’ve never seen him do more than kiss before, and that was with someone he was in an active relationship with.

Of course, what I’d seen isn’t matching up with what I’m experiencing.

So who the fuck knows anyway?

I concentrate on my breathing. I try to think.

This is Solas. Why was he forced to warm me with his body heat? Why couldn’t he use magic to do it? There’s a lot not adding up for me. Way too much.

I fell from the Fade? How is that even possible? People don’t just fall out of the Fade, not even in Thedas. And how do you go from being in my world, a world with no magic, to being here? Why aren’t we in Haven? The snow is at least familiar, but nothing else.

I need to figure things out. Most importantly, what to say to him. I need to ask questions so I can work out where I am, but anything I ask will give him information as well. He’ll be able to learn a lot from which questions I ask him.

Maybe I should just keep silent, pretend I have no idea what’s going on. But shit, this is Solas.

How can I stop myself from reacting to him? I already want to touch him again. Feeling him against me, especially that one spot, is bringing warmth to certain parts of me. A kind of warmth I’m certain wasn’t his actual goal.

It’s not just that it’s him. That he’s pressed along me. That’s a big fucking part of it, but no. It’s that he’s real. I can feel him. For the first time, ever. When I had never, not even once, thought this would or could happen.

Fictional characters do not just spring to life.

My feelings for him have never been tied to the need for him to exist though. I’ve done some research, looked into how this shit works. Yes, it turns out you can have real feelings for people who aren’t real themselves. Apparently our stupid bodies don’t know the difference between falling in love with a real person and one who’s made up.

So now what? What do I do? I’m in a situation I could never have hoped to be in and there are so many ways I can fuck up.

He’s there. Still hard.

Why is he still hard? Isn’t that supposed to go away after a while?

Every small movement either of us makes presses us together in different ways. I’m now hyper-aware of him. No hope of falling asleep as long as he’s there. I feel a tickle between my legs and I stop breathing for a few seconds. Then, I squirm. I try to keep it small, subtle. I really don’t want him to notice. This is not flattering at all. I want to show him that I respect him.

I hear him take a deep breath and the length of him twitches.

I’m mortified. He can smell me, clearly.

Oh god, no.

I curl myself up, pull up my legs and try to move away from him a bit. His arm holds me where I am though.

“You smell of the Fade," his words are deep, a lower register than I’ve heard before. I can feel them vibrate in his chest where it presses against my back. “And other things.”

“I’m sorry.” I say again. My words are barely even a whisper.

“Again, I will say that it was never my intention to be inappropriate, or to take advantage of you.” His arm tightens further and pulls me against him. It’s almost painful now.

I gasp and my breathing quickens. More moisture collects between my legs. I rub my thighs together, trying to rid myself of that tickle.

I realise again that something about my body is different, off. But I can’t focus on that now.

“I have not breathed in the scent of the Fade physically for a long, long time," he says. “Forgive me, I am having trouble restraining myself.”

“Don’t,” I say, then hasten to add. “Don’t restrain yourself.”

He shudders and presses his face into my neck. I can feel him breathing in and he trembles again. Then his lips are on the back of my neck and his teeth graze my skin.

I gasp and shiver.

I reach and feel for his hand. It’s pressed into the skin of my stomach and I move it. Down, down until the tips of his fingers brush more sensitive parts of me.

I’m trembling now. I have no idea why. He groans into the skin of my neck and moves his hand lower on his own.

His fingers slide over me and then into the wetness pooling below. I shudder around them and my hips move involuntarily.

It’s been so long for me, so long since I’ve felt this. And it’s him. I struggle to remember why this is wrong, why I shouldn’t do this.

His fingers slide along me, stroking me, spreading the slick of me around. They brush the sensitive centre of me and I gasp. He rubs slow, delicate circles around it and then presses the tip of one finger against it. I’m panting now, gasping for air. Suddenly I’m too hot.

Then his hand moves lower and I feel his fingers reach down, parting me and sliding inside.

I can’t remember the last time I felt this wet, aching need, this build of pressure and heat in my stomach. His fingers undulate, in and out. I clutch his wrist and rock against his hand.

He’s panting now himself, breath uneven and shallow. It’s a beautiful, uncontrolled sound. One I could never have imagined. I love it, love the way his voice is deep and broken.

I reach over and behind me. I search for that long, hard length and find it.

He’s beautifully smooth and so warm, hard enough that I’m sure it must ache. I grip him in my fist and squeeze gently, then begin sliding my hand up and down as well as I can from this angle.

He shudders against my palm and gasps.

I lose myself in the feel of him between my legs and in my hand. I’m not sure how long we stay like that. But the pressure inside me grows and grows and I begin to ache for something more.

I roll over, moving his arm with me. I’m facing him now. I lift my leg and wrap it over his hip and bring myself as close as I can. He lets me take him in my hand and bring him to my opening. He’s thick and hard against me, but I’m so wet and open from his touch.

I work him into me, feeling the amazing, wonderful sensation of him stretching me wider. He twitches his hips, jerking himself a little deeper. There’s a bit of pain, sharp and tearing. But it passes. I realise what it must be and a moment of mild hysteria grips me. I haven’t been a virgin in years. Then the pain fades away and I can focus on the feeling. I sigh, a long languorous breath at how perfect he feels, how hard and hot and long.

Then he holds me in his arms and rolls us both over. I almost shatter at the feeling of his weight settling on me, at feeling him sliding in deeper. My eyes roll back at the sensation.

His breath is so warm against my chest as he rests like that.

“I will not be able to hold back for long," he says, voice deep and broken with need. I can feel the hunger in him, that barely restrained passion I’d always been aware of. He needs this. I know that with absolute certainty. Needs this so utterly and completely that every last shred of doubt in me vanishes.

“Take me," I breathe.

He tenses for a second, then sighs. He fits himself around me, finds a position under the blanket he likes. Then he pulls out in a slow, even movement, until the tip of him is just inside my entrance. Then he pushes back inside with one firm, sudden thrust.

I make a sound, somewhere between a gasp and a scream, and wrap my legs around his hips.

He does it again, drawing out and then slamming back home. And again. Each time it’s a little bit faster, a bit harder.

The sound of skin on skin is loud. His panting breaths cover me with warm air and he slides one hand up to cover my breast. His fingers find my nipple and squeeze. I cry out again. I’m so sensitive, and it feels so good.

I begin to lose the sense of each individual movement, feeling the warmth pool and collect inside. I’m moving with him now, trying to meet each thrust. My arms wrap around his shoulders, his neck. I spread my fingers up and over the back of his head and bring my thumb up to brush against one pointed ear. He makes a beautiful sound then, a growling gasping sound and I do it again.

His pace intensifies. He’s pushing into me faster, with an almost punishing force. I’m so close now, I can feel it building, cresting.

His other hand moves down and he presses his thumb to my centre. It's enough, too much, and I come, shuddering and twitching around him. I can feel myself clench down on him as he continues to move. He growls again, deeper still and I feel that sensation I’d almost forgotten. That swelling pulse as he comes inside me. I can feel tears on my cheeks. I’m crying. It’s so good, so good. And it’s him.

“Solas.” I breathe.

He shudders and I clutch him, trying to keep him where he is for as long as I can. He rests his weight on me and I love the feeling of it.

Then he slips out. I sigh at the loss and feel a hot, sliding sensation as his seed flows out after him.

He twists and rolls us back to lying on our sides. I keep my limbs wrapped around him. I don’t want to move yet, to let him go. I’m still shuddering with the aftershocks of my orgasm. I want this feeling to last as long as it can.

His hand rubs my thigh, slow lazy up and down movements. Our breathing slows as we come down from it. Everything is so perfect. So wonderful and real and better than anything I’d ever imagined.

We rest for a bit, neither of us speaking.

“You were a virgin,” he says after a time.

I remember that pain I felt. I don’t understand it.

“No,” I say. “I’m not. I wasn’t. I don’t know why…”

“A question for another time then.” He stills and presses his fingers into my skin. “There is a more pressing one.”

I hear something in his voice which puts me a little on edge. I pull my legs down so that they’re not wrapped around him anymore but keep my arms where they are.

“What question?” I ask.

I can feel him looking at me. It’s an almost physical sensation, a weight pressing into me. I’m suddenly aware for the first time, really aware, of who he is. Not just Solas, but the other side of him.

“Tell me how, exactly, you know my name.” He says.

Oh shit.