She doesn’t recall when the word first slipped out. It’s common now. As common as his title or his name. Commander. Rutherford. Cullen.Ena’vun. It’s him. The word is him.
The others laugh at the affectionate term. ‘Harmlessly’, she is reassured by Josephine, ‘it is cute’ how Cullen fusses over it afterward and the others, they like teasing him for it. She doesn’t know why–it is only a word. A name, just like any other. Josephine says it is the use of the word, not the word itself. “You’re are flaunting it to some and others are inclined to hear it as an announcement. Proof of what you two are”.
“And what are we? Something funny?”
“No–well–perhaps yes with Cullen’s reactions. That man, I’ve never seen someone turn that red. But what you are are lovers, Inquisitor. That’s what it means to others. Love and a claiming.”
She doesn’t see it. It is a name. It is what Cullen is. It is not for others to hear and think. Just his and hers.
Others keep reacting. Solas rises his eyebrow at it one day as Cullen passes by their workbench and she greets him but he says nothing; not his business, not his concern but interesting nevertheless. There are elves, fellow Dales, who hear the word and give pause at her usage. Sunrise, they hushed to each other, why Sunrise? It’s not the word, not the meaning, but the tongue they wonder about. Ena’vun isn’t a nickname, it isn’t Vhenan–it’s a time of day. Inconsequential; a term that lacks the poetry or meaning as some other words do. But she calls him Sunrise and she uses it like Vhenan, and the Dales wonder and twitter between each other but say nothing besides.
She doesn’t get it. It is a word, it sounds like hers in Elvish. It’s what fits in her mouth when she thinks of him.
Sunrise, sunrise, he is her only sunrise. He makes her happy when skies are gray.
It doesn’t sound right.
Ena’vun, Ena’vun, he is her only Ena’vun. He makes her happy when skies are gray.
Better. Much better.
“Why do you call me that?” Cullen asks, pushing her hair behind her ear and she latches onto the heat of his body under the covers, basks in his light even as the sun rays grace their skin. She looks at him from under the frizz of her hair; golden curls loose and wild on his forehead, bright and radiate like a halo. She sees his smile, her hair twirls around the tips of his finger, plains of skin marked by pinkish, whitish scars.
There’s an inflation in her chest, all-encompassing, blooming in her heart like a flower to the sun. There is no word for it–just a feeling in one’s chest when they wake and the first thing they see is the sun. That is what it is.
“Because, when I wake up, I see the sunrise. I see you. You are the sunrise. Ma ena’vun.”