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Sunday.

“Silas?”

The ensuing sigh that sounded from the farthest corner table was loud enough to hear all the way from the back of the coffee shop. A distinctly familiar voice broke through the buzz of low chatter and asked, with no small amount of irritation, “Do you mean Solas?

The barista—an impish little blonde with crooked-cut bangs—squinted hard at the name on the cup in mocking pretense of concentration. “Nope,” she announced. “Definitely Silas.”

And…well, to be fair, it wasn’t the worst name she’d come up with yet.

Lilith came skidding out from behind the counter, stained apron only tenuously tied on, and hurriedly swiped up the drink. “Thanks,” she called back over her shoulder, “I’ve got it!”

Sera watched as she swept off to deliver it to the same boring regular at the same far corner table—a different dry, boring book in hand, as usual—and pulled a hideously disgusted face. “You better have charged him full price,” she snapped, “or I’m gonna write a big fancy letter to the big boss-whoevers and tell ‘em you’re cheating ‘em.”

“I did,” she lied. “And you won’t.”

When she set the drink down on the table it was with the decisiveness and triumph of a gold-medal Olympian claiming their award. “Okay,” she announced, “I’ve got a good one today.”

Solas had set down his book—it seemed to be the only time he ever did—and irritation vanished with the quirk of a subtly enamored smile. “I never doubt you.”

“Iced almond-macadamia latte,” she announced, and watched him test it with gleeful anticipation. “So what’s the verdict?”

“Perfect,” he said. Which was true, probably—at least for someone who enjoyed coffee. Solas, as it were, did not.

He hated coffee.

What he did not hate, however, was how excited a certain silver-haired barista was to whip up something off-menu every morning. It had started as an accident—he’d ducked into the shop one rainy morning to surreptitiously steal some free wifi, but when he went to ask for the password, found his goal slightly…set back by a crooked ruby smile and a pair of amber eyes.

The barista—a tiny, pointed thing in a messy ponytail with an easy grin a mile wide—didn’t give him a chance to speak. “Well hello, cheekbones,” she greeted, and the undercurrent of a teasing smirk made the words simmer. “So what can I get for you?”

Solas knew nothing of coffee—had certainly never intended on buying coffee—but the expectancy in her fixed stare sent him scrambling to assemble a response that would keep their interaction going. He asked, with absolutely no knowledge of coffee, “What do you recommend?”

Something bright and somehow sinister flared like fire in the sharp lines of her face. “Ooh, now that would depend—how daring are you feeling today?”

“Moderately daring,” he decided, “but infinitely curious—what, exactly, constitutes a daring drink?”

“Dunno yet,” she said. “It’s a surprise every time.”

And Solas—fool that he was—made the singular mistake that set off this entire terrible tradition:

“Well. In that case, surprise me.”

That was two months ago. Too many terrible, probably perfect coffees ago.

He watched her return to work and sighed. At least this one was sweet enough to at least half-finish.

…maybe.

 

Monday.

“Cyrus?”

Right. That’d be her cue, then.

This time Lilith was quick enough to cut off the never-ending name war before it could start. She dipped out before the next customer in line could snatch her attention, flashing Sera a sweet, convincing smile. “Cover for me,” she said. “I’ll be right back.”

Sera audibly gagged.

Today’s masterpiece was a crowning achievement in caffeinated exploration—espresso, sparkling water, and half 'n half with a lemon twist over ice. “The sweet, bastard lovechild of a latte and a nightclub,” she grandly summarized. “I call it the Disco Pony.”

“That sounds…” Solas paused to ponder on a fitting descriptor before deciding upon, “Creative.”

“It’s better than it sounds,” she assured. “Come on, have I ever led you astray?”

“You have not,” he conceded. “…yet.”

She clasped at her heart in a Shakespearean show of utter betrayal, eyes wide. “Is that doubt, I hear? You know, cheekbones, you keep that attitude up and I might actually start charging you full price.”

“You should most definitely be charging full price, but no, I do not doubt you. Usually.” The smallest tic of a sardonic smile betrayed something almost…soft. “Does anyone here actually know my name?”

“Of course they do. It’s…” She leaned down to dramatically squint at his cup. “Syllabus.”

“Does she do this to everyone?” he asked, and Lilith didn’t have to ask who. She glanced fondly back to Sera—blatantly picking at her nails behind the bar—with a warm, crooked smile. “Yeah. It’s part of her charm.”

“Charm, is it? I’m unsure if that is the appropriate word in this instance.”

“It is,” she said. “But I guess ‘enchantment’ would work, too. Pizzazz. Bewitchery. A certain je ne sais quoi.”

Behind her, Sera abruptly sneezed into her hand and wiped it on her pants.

“…enchantment,” Solas repeated. “Yes. Quite enchanting, indeed.” His gaze swept back to Lilith, and his next words were spoken softer. “And have you been given any enchanting new names?”

“Yeah,” she answered cheerily. “When we first met she forgot my first name and just called me ‘Lavellan,’ and then for about three months she called me ‘Harold.’”

 

Tuesday.

“I call it a Dirty Chai.”

Lilith set before him a very lovely looking drink that smelled, ominously, of the one thing Solas hated more than coffee. “Tea,” he observed, and couldn’t keep his voice from falling flat. “…wonderful.”

“House-made chai with three shots of espresso,” she went on, positively beaming with a pride that made his heart melt even while his stomach turned. “It’s gonna kick your face in; you’ll love it.”

“A promising description.”

“I’m a natural storyteller; what can I say?”

Solas opened his mouth to answer, but was silenced by the sudden, violent shock of the front door flinging open, followed by the purposeful exclamation, “I have had the worst day of anyone in the entire world.”

The manic spread of Lilith’s grin consumed half her face. “Darling,” she gushed, hand fluttering to her chest. “Tell me everything.”

She abandoned Solas to throw her arms around the neck of a smartly dressed stranger Solas had often seen but never spoken to—a well-kempt young man with a (ridiculous, in his opinion…) haircut.

“My beloved,” she sweetly professed, and Solas tried not to let the way she hung on him sour his expression. “Do you want coffee?”

With a despairing sigh her dear “beloved” muttered a defeated-sounding, “Yes.” Solas tried hard to look anywhere else.

He had seen the man often, although only ever through the shop’s front window. Lilith spent a fair number of her lunch breaks dashing out the door with two coffees in hand to climb into his car, waiting at the curb, and speed off to…who knows where. Solas rarely ever saw him actually enter the shop. Today must have been special.

Lilith’s ringing shout nearly made Solas drop his coffee. “Sera!” she called. “I’m taking my fifteen!”

What? Ohh, no you’re not! Not if I- oh. Hey, Mustache.”

“Sera,” the familiar stranger greeted. “Still cutting your own hair, I see.”

“Oh, shove it, you. You a big fancy billionaire yet, or all those degrees still worth jack shite?”

“It’s…complicated.”

“Right,” she affirmed. “Shite, then.”

“You have absolutely no idea what I’ve been through today,” he bemoaned to Lilith, who listened with a rapt absorption that made the lines of Solas’ frown sink ever lower. “You would think someone with ‘Professor’ in front of their name would actually be bound to such concepts as, say, scientific fact, but lo and behold! If I hear someone bring up string theory once more I’m going to pluck out my own eyes and hurl them into their face. I am done. Done, I tell you. University is nothing but a damned circus. Ugh, of all the…how many times must I say it; if a theory is sufficiently explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally!”

Solas cleared his throat behind them—the first sound he’d made since her…friend entered. “Is it not true that a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific?”

“Ah,” he quipped, “delightful. Uninvited opposition from a complete stranger. Because it truly is that sort of day.” Then, intrigued: “…who are you, exactly?”

Seamus,” Sera yelled from across the shop. A lone customer sipping espresso at a nearby table jumped.

“Solas,” Lilith corrected. “Or…I think it was ‘Sirius’ today?”

The friend snapped his fingers, realization dawning. “Right, of course it is. Suppose I should have seen that coming, shouldn’t I have?” He offered a cordial nod in greeting, but nothing further. “Dorian,” he introduced. “So I imagine that would make you ‘Cheekbones,’ then? Charmed, I’m sure. You’re wrong, by the way, but don’t worry—I’ll try not to hold it against you.”

“Yes,” Solas flatly agreed. “Charmed.” He tried to tamp down a horrid, rising bitterness before it could seep into his voice. “So. This would be your…” His eyes flashed briefly downward, lingering on the press of Lilith’s hand against his chest. The bitterness burned beneath his tongue. “Boyfriend, I take it?”

Dorian answered before she could with a hearty bark of laughter. “In one of the infinite, inaccessible domains of a kaleidoscope multiverse? Yes, most definitely. Here? No, tragically.”

A derisive little smirk slipped out before Solas could curb it. “It feels worth pointing out,” he noted, “that while infinity is needed to complete mathematics, it occurs nowhere in the physical universe.”

“Is that so?” Dorian responded, smile tight with strained civility. “Well. Lovely as this little discussion has been, we are on a rather tight schedule, so it seems we’ll have to pick this up at a later date. Terrible to meet you, Solas.” His gaze drifted lower. “Is that a dirty chai?”

“I…yes?”

He looked down to Lilith, pulling the most convincing of all tragic pouts. “Could I get two?”

“That depends,” she said. “You gonna pay for them this time?”

“I’m working on a doctorate; you know I have no money.”

“Fine,” she relented with a roll of her eyes. “You’re lucky I make such good tips, you know that? Be right back.” She twirled abruptly back to Solas with an eager grin. “So, how’s the chai? Good? Bad? Phenomenal?”

“Phenomenal, definitely,” he decided.

“Good,” she said. “I told you it would be.”

Solas waited until she was out of earshot before clearing his throat. “So. Theoretical physics, is it?”

Dorian gave an amused hmph. “Yes. A mathematician, I assume?”

“No. Simply a person who is curious as to how a theory could be so profound that its existence supplants the need for data and testing.”

“Truly,” Dorian vowed. “Absolutely terrible.”

 

Wednesday.

“So.” Solas tapped his fingers evenly against the side of his cup—a rosemary ginger molasses latte he was trying very hard to avoid drinking—and tried to keep his voice light and conversational. It came out more suspicious than he liked. “You keep rather…colorful company.”

“Who, Dorian?” Presently Lilith was wiping down a table, although with no real intention of cleaning—she’d been aimlessly wiping the same spot for the last three minutes of their conversation. “Oh, he’s the best. You two seemed to really hit it off.”

“If ‘pointlessly arguing academia’ amounts to ‘hitting it off,’ then yes. A delight.”

“Hey. The second day you came in I argued with you for twenty full minutes about chaos theory. Arguing academia definitely amounts to hitting it off.”

“You made several valid points.”

“I made all valid points,” she corrected.

The shrill shout of Sera’s voice carried from the other side of the bar: “Hey! It’s friggin’ clean already, you tit! Stop blabbing with Samus and…I don’t know, go refill something!”

“Just getting this last spot,” she called back, and when Sera turned her back reached out and knocked the coffee from Solas’ hands, sending a flood of rosemary-ginger-molasses across the table. “Oh, will you look at that,” she said, feigning perfect shock. The slow spread of her grin did something terrible to his heart. “Chaos, I tell you.”

Solas moved to grab a napkin and found himself stilled by a wave of her hand. “No, no, let me,” she insisted, and slowly as possible began to sop up what had been an almost entirely untouched coffee.

The trailing groan Sera let loose was loud enough to fill the entire shop. “Aw, come on,” she bemoaned. “Seriously?

Lilith dropped her voice low, unbothered by the colorful grumblings of her coworker in the background. “Alright, so back to telling me how right I was…did we settle on ‘undeniably’ or ‘inarguably’? I can’t remember.”

Solas pushed his chair back to escape the steady drip of spilled coffee. “‘Somewhat feasibly,’ was the consensus, if memory serves.” For once he avoided meeting her eyeline. “…have you and Dorian known each other long?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You seem quite close.”

“He’s the love of my life,” she happily explained. “Smartest idiot I’ve ever known. And the second most gorgeous.”

Solas could think of nothing kind to respond with on the matter, and so politely bit his tongue. “Were you two ever…?” The rest of that thought dwindled awkwardly into silence until he could decide on the least invasive way to phrase the question. “Involved?”

Lilith laughed, although he wasn’t sure what about that was funny. “Ugh, I wish. How cute would those kids be, right?” Her delighted cackle did nothing to settle the prickling discomfort rippling down his spine. He hummed some noncommittal response, still opting to watch the spread of spilled coffee over whatever fond expression she wore. He felt the creeping tendrils of resentment curl tight in his chest and hated himself for it. This was not his business, nor should it be. And yet…

He tried not to sound bitter. “Anything is possible, I suppose.”

“This definitely isn’t.”

“And you’re quite sure of that?”

“Pretty sure,” she said. “Yeah.”

Solas watched as she gathered up a wet pile of napkins and tossed them neatly in a nearby trash bin, still delighted, still smiling so very, achingly fondly. He spoke carefully, words tactically scrubbed of any telltale sullenness. “And what makes you so sure?”

“He’s gay.” She dropped his empty cup into the trash, still all fondness and smiles, and wiped her hands on her apron before setting them purposefully on her hips. “If you want me to set you up, though, I could probably ask.”

Oh. Oh, ah…no. No, that is…not necessary.”

“You want his number?” she offered, and before he could politely—and vehemently—refuse had already started fishing her phone out of her back pocket. “He’s usually free by six or seven. Oh, shit, your drink!” She smacked her palm to her forehead while Solas gracelessly floundered for words. “Wait here, I’ll go get you a new coffee.”

“Oh, no, you do not have to do that-”

“Of course I do,” she insisted. The smile she flashed shot straight through his heart. “You barely even got to drink that one.”

 

Thursday.

“Does the owner of the store not object to you giving away free coffee?” Solas was carefully swirling what he was sure was a flawlessly prepared chile mocha in his cup, masterfully avoiding drinking any more of it. Scrawled across the sleeve in thick black marker was the word “STYLUS.”

“I don’t see it as ‘giving away free coffee,’ necessarily,” Lilith argued, for once actually busy stocking napkins. “More like ‘expropriating the bourgeoisie.’”

“A much more noble endeavor, surely.” A dark hint of laughter rumbled low beneath his words. “You realize that phrase is rooted in anarchism, do you not?”

“Just a little bit.”

“Quite literally expropriative anarchism.”

“A tiny bit.”

He sat back in his seat, failing to suppress a smile. “I don’t mean it to be argumentative—merely an observation. I will admit there are aspects of anarchy that have their uses.”

“Ooh, what’s this now? Is this a hint of a turbulent past I’m sensing?” Task finished, she turned to fix him with her full attention. “Whispers of a radical, nonconformist youth? Did you used to be old-school punk?” She gasped, delighted. “Did you have a mohawk?”

Solas only rolled his eyes. “No,” he stated. “…not really.”

“I knew it!” Abandoning all pretense of working, she took a seat opposite him, arms folded atop the table with eyes gleaming bright. “So tell me more about your anarchist ways, Solas.”

“I am not,” he flatly stated, “an anarchist.”

“Come on,” she prompted, “lay down the truth on some sweet radical politics.”

“I have no radical politics.”

“Maybe some thoughts on class struggle? The concept of justice as defined within the confines of the state?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“So you would agree, then, that radical ideology is a threat to the very existence of society?”

“No, or- I did not- ” He ended his floundering defense with a sigh. “I would simply…rather not perpetuate the myth that unity requires homogeneity.”

“Aha!” Lilith slapped the table so hard the vibration nearly sent his untouched drink toppling. “Post-anarchism! That’s post-anarchism!”

“It is not- ”

Suck a dick, it’s not; that’s post-anarchism!”

Two customers at a neighboring table fell silent, gazes flicking worriedly their way. Solas subtly sunk lower. “Is this a common topic of discussion for you?”

“Only half of my discussions. The other half is chaos.”

That coaxed a reluctant smirk. “Anarchy is not necessarily chaotic, you know.”

“Of course not,” she agreed, but something sinister glittered in the gold of her eyes. “But chaos is always anarchic.”

From behind the bar came the exhausted voice of an incredibly exhausted-looking man. “Goddamn it, Lilith, leave the customers alone! Aren’t you supposed to be, I don’t know, working?”

“I’m on break, Varric!”

“You’re not,” he bluntly countered. “And you have customers.”

A growing line of waiting guests awkwardly shuffled in place in front of the unattended register. A woman at the counter forced a cough.

“...right,” Lilith said. “Well. Will you look at that. Break just ended.” She flashed Solas a smile far too sweet before leaving him alone with his untouched coffee and disquieting thoughts of chaos.

“What am I paying you for?” Varric muttered, watching with nothing but sheer, tired defeat as she greeted the first in a line of increasingly unhappy customers.

“My winning personality and undeniable charm,” she quipped, and instead of arguing Varric just sort of…nodded.

“Yeah,” he admitted, defeated. “But c’mon, Lilith, we’ve gone over this—you’ve got to stop telling customers to suck a dick.”

 

Friday.

“I don’t get it.” Sera sat atop the back kitchen counter, legs splayed in a distinctly unladylike fashion, doing absolutely nothing while Lilith busied herself washing dishes in the sink. “I mean I don’t get why you give two squirts about men in the first place when you’ve got all these proper ladies you could have it off with instead, but…him? Bleh. No thanks.”

“I like him,” Lilith said with a shrug. “He’s funny.”

“More like funny looking, right? Hah! Get it?” She lost herself to a fit of giggles while Lilith pretended to be too busy scrubbing to hear her. “Does he even tip you? He better be tipping you. Better be leaving you whole wads of cash, with all the time you spend making his dumb, fancy drinks.”

“He tips,” Lilith confirmed.

“Hmph.” She drew her legs up and leaned back against the wall, face scrunched in a grimace. “He better. You know if Varric ever found out you were making all those stupid secret drinks he’d be right pissed. I think.”

“He definitely knows,” Lilith said, “and he isn’t.”

“Yeah, was kind of reaching with that one. You know I once mixed up a bunch of whiskey and espresso in a punch bowl and he didn’t even say nothing?”

“Sera,” she pointed out, “who do you think brought the whiskey here in the first place?”

Pffft. Hey, maybe that’s what you should make Sonar next—then you’ll really get a proper tip out of him. Maybe he’d be less boring, then, too.”

“I like him,” she said again. “And he already tips.”

“I’m gonna spit in his cappuccino.”

“No you’re not.”

“Hock a big juicy one right in his macchiato. See how Solnus likes that.”

“Aw, leave him alone,” she said. “I think he’s cute.”

Eeagh, how? He looks like he’s gonna give me a lecture. He looks like someone’s principal. Or an egg. Like a boring, snotty egg who wants to speak to your mum after school. He looks like he’s gonna send me to detention.”

“He’s cute.”

“He’s an egg principal.”

Lilith snorted on a rude burst of laughter, drying her hands off with a bunched-up wad of paper towels. “Sera,” she promised, “if my principal had an ass like that, I’d have sent myself to detention.”

 

Saturday.

“It’s a Wake and Bake,” she introduced. “Sage, black pepper, and maple syrup with espresso and steamed milk. Everything but bacon. Because we don’t have any bacon.”

Solas’ eyes fell to the coffee sleeve. “It says ‘Salad.’”

“That’s you,” she explained. “You’re Salad today.”

For a moment it looked as though he might argue, but the moment passed. In the end he decided simply to surrender. “Yes,” he agreed. “Of course I am.”

Lilith’s smile never wavered, but Solas could swear he saw something almost…sharpen. “Anything else I can get for you?” she asked, and her voice was sweeter than it should have been. An inexplicably portentous sign.

“Er…should there be?”

The saccharine sweetness evaporated into sinister glee as she slapped her palm flat atop the table, other hand anchored to her hip. “What’s your tattoo of?”

“Excuse me?”

“Spill it,” she demanded. “Is it skull-related? Please tell me it’s skull-related.”

“Why would you think I would have a tattoo?”

“Because you do,” she said. “Come on, at least tell me where it is. Oh, if I guess will you tell me? Is it on a limb?”

Solas remained unaffected. A truly monumental feat. “Do you not wish to know my opinion on the coffee?”

“The coffee is amazing,” she dismissed with a wave, “I already know that. Now, is it an arm or a leg? Or-” She reeled back and gasped. “No! A shoulder!

“What,” he asked again, expression still kept masterfully neutral, “makes you think I have a tattoo?”

“Because at some point, eons ago, you were a punk-ass little anarchist,” she explained with all the grace and delicacy Solas had come to expect from her, “and I absolutely know you have a tattoo. You can shave your head, you can wear sleeves, you can drink top-tier specialty coffee, but somewhere—definitely a shoulder—there is an image forever inked into your flesh. And it may or may not be a skull.”

“I do so enjoy this narrative you’ve crafted for me. Even if the reality is far less exciting.”

Lilith happily ignored him. “Now, the real question is, is it a human or an animal skull? And does it have horns?”

“It is not a skull.”

The gleam of her manic grin would have been adorable if it wasn’t such a powerful omen of doom. “But you have a tattoo!”

…hm.

Solas took a slow sip of coffee to give himself time to think and was too caught up in their game to remember why that was a bad idea. He nearly choked when the liquid hit his throat. He tried to disguise it as a cough, pasting on a shaky smile as he carefully set the cup back down with eyes that slightly watered. “Was that black pepper, you said?”

“And maple syrup,” she finished. “Okay, so a shoulder tattoo that’s not a skull—what else?”

“Why are you so convinced it’s on my shoulder?

“Because look at you; if it’s not on your shoulder, then it damn well should be. But we both know it is, so onward—any piercings that went along with it? And more importantly, do you still have them now?”

“No.”

“No you didn’t have any, or no you didn’t keep them?”

And perhaps it was the black pepper, or the eagerness of her voice, or the little way her ruby smile pulled at one side and made the hard edges of his heart weaken and crumble, but Solas surrendered with a deep sigh. “No, I did not keep them.”

Lilith took a long moment to ponder that information. To process, and assess. “One or both ears?” she finally decided to ask. “And separately: what other body parts?”

“You assume there were multiple?”

“I know there were.” She cocked her head and took a step back, arms crossed in thought. “One ear,” she announced. “And then one other place. Hm. Not the nose, not the lip…eyebrow, maybe?”

Solas felt the critical burn of her eyes as they scanned his face, brows creased in deep concentration. He could have remained silent. Could have said nothing at all. “No,” he said instead. “Not the eyebrow.”

“A body piercing,” she decided aloud. The smugness to the set of her lips told him she took this declaration as fact. “Which just means one of two things: either a nipple piercing, or…” She clapped her hands together, something dark working behind her eyes. “I want to see it.”

“I thought we established I no longer had it?”

“You don’t have the ear piercing,” she clarified. “But you kept the other one. So let’s go, show me—I want to see it.”

“I am not,” he flatly informed, “disrobing in a coffee shop.”

“Then come around back; it’ll take two seconds.”

“I would never- That is not-” He dropped his head into his hand, exhaustion snowballing into something more flustered. “I am not doing that.”

“Because you can’t,” she darkly reported, and Solas felt as if he was a defendant on trial. Her next words were hissed low, yet rang with all the booming finality of a judge’s gavel. “Because it’s a dick piercing.”

Solas raised his head, empty eyes locked on her gleeful face, and slowly, silently, took a sip of coffee.

 

Sunday.

“Made you something special today, cheekbones.” Lilith placed a cup before him and stood back, hands on her hips. Today’s name had been “Solar”—admittedly not one of Sera’s best, but a stronger candidate than “Sheryl,” which she’d given him twice now.

Solas glanced down at today’s mystery drink, brow raised curiously. “Oh?”

“Try it,” she prodded. “I’ll wait.”

Not unusual. Lilith always waited for his consensus on her…unique specialty drinks. Solas steeled himself, practiced mask of enjoyment at the ready, and took a tentative sip. And…actually quite liked it. It tasted like-

“Hot chocolate,” she announced. “Extra whipped cream.” She leaned down, hands flat on the table, her smile at once accusing and triumphant. “Because you hate coffee.”

…ah. Well then.

A hundred possible explanations crowded together at the tip of his tongue. He managed to vocalize none. “…hate is a rather strong word.”

Solas felt a terrible burn color his face, but Lilith’s smile only cracked wider. “You’ve been coming here for months,” she said. “Did you really think I wouldn’t notice that you never finish your drinks? I’ve been waiting weeks for you to crack, but you really are committed. Honestly, I’ve got to applaud your resolve.”

“Er. Well…”

“You know, you could have just asked for it.”

“Asked for what?”

She didn’t answer, though. Just flashed that same wicked, ruby grin, straightened back up, and swiftly returned to work. She was halfway across the shop when she called over her shoulder, “My number’s on the sleeve.”

Solas looked down to the string of numbers scrawled in spidery red ink across the cup’s paper sleeve, capped at the end with a loosely scribbled heart.

Yes. So it was.

 

Monday.

Solas never did call her.

Lilith couldn’t say she was surprised.

“So,” she greeted as he silently slipped through the door that morning. “Lose the number, or lose the nerve?”

He tried to keep his face neutral, but she still caught the tiniest flash of…panic? Guilt? Whatever weaker emotion he’d let slip disappeared in an instant. “Nerve,” he decided.

Yeah. She figured that, too. Without another word she slipped her phone from her back pocket and pulled up her contacts, typing something briefly before holding it out to him. “Here,” she offered. “I promise I won’t lose mine.”

Solas cautiously took the phone, brow furrowed as he looked down at the blank new contact screen. The break of a wry smile ruined his impassive façade when his eyes skimmed the name she’d input.

Seamus the Anarchist

Beside his name she’d put two emojis: a peach, and a cup of coffee.

“Seamus?” he dryly read aloud.

“It’s my favorite one so far.”

For a moment she almost thought he wouldn’t. Almost.

Solas was still trying to rein back a smile when he swiftly typed in his number. He handed it back to her with a curiously raised brow. “…why ‘peach coffee’?”

“Maybe I’ll explain it to you when I call you tonight.”

“If you don’t lose the nerve.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” she assured. “I won’t.”

Lilith smiled, and hit save.