The leather strap slipped between her fingers. Angrily, she slammed her fist in table. The other one slid off where the strap was not holding it up. Articulated fingers clattered onto the table. The hand was beautiful, skillfully crafted from ironbark; it was another gift from clan Lavellan. She’d only visited them once since the founding of the inquisition. She thanked them for the beautiful Hart, and congratulated her family on their political gains in Wycome. They didn’t care much for it, but everyone was happy that the clan was safe. After dinner the Master Craftsman had presented her with the prosthetic. The fingers were graceful yet strong, the straps and cuff were a smooth white leather, and on the back of hand, a carving of a Halla. She had tried hard not to cry when she received this gift. Now, she was holding back tears for a different reason.
Frustrated, Ellana leaned back in her chair, tipping it slightly. The old chateau was one of the few pre-existing structures on the holding Varric had gifted to her along with a title, which they’d finally formally established with the rest of city-state’s nobility. She did have to return the key to the city though. The front door was pulled open from the outside. The old hinges whined from lack of use, and startled by the noise, Ellana teetered over in her chair and hit the floor.
She grunted on impact and Cullen gave her a quizzical look from to doorway.
“You alright? What happened?”
“Yeah, just tipped the chair back and fell” he laughed at herself.
He wiped his hands off on his trousers and then extended one for her. She gripped it and he heaved her off the ground. His eyes darted to prosthetic hand on the table and back to her.
“Trouble getting it on again?” His voice was gentle, careful not to upset her.
Ellana sighed, looking down at what remained of her left arm. Cullen took her elbow into his hand and slid the jointed sculpture into place. He pulled on the straps and clipped them into place.
Ellana held the silvery blue palm in front of her face, turning it over.
“It’s not too tight, is it?” He asked.
She shook her head.
Cullen sat down in the chair beside her.
“What’s bothering you?”
“I killed a would be god, closed a literal hole in the sky, and survived a qunari attack on the winter palace, but I, Inquisitor Lavellan, cannot fasten leather straps with one hand!” she shouted while waving her arm for added effect.
He took both her hands in his and threaded his fingers between hers.
“It’s alright to need a little bit of help. You did lose your arm to Fen’harel.”
“Eugh, don’t say it like that, makes it sound like I lost to Solas in a fight. Like he chopped it off for some sort of trophy,” she snickered.
“Oh maker, now I’m just imagining him brandishing your forearm like a staff,” he groaned, but they were both laughing now.
They quieted and Cullen looked her in the eyes, “Should you need me, you have naught but to ask.”
He smiled, “I’ll be the left hand of the inquisitor!”
“What, like Leliana was to Divine Justinia?” Ellana questioned.
“Perhaps a bit more literally, but if you really wanted I could arrange a network of spies.”
She propped her arm up on the table and rest her chin on it. “I think I deal with enough of that already, but thank you for the offer”
Cullen leaned over and kissed her forehead, “Anytime.”