The day had started out fairly quiet. It was a little startling to Cyros at first, the lack of nobles wanting to congratulate his mastery of the game, as well as the miniscule number of problems his advisors had brought to him today. Normally, the Inquisitor would still be swamped with all kinds of work to be looked at in the war room after a major upset like the Winter Palace, but today seemed to be the exception. Even Cullen, who almost always seemed to have a problem to complain about, had told Cyros that there was nothing pressing to currently tend to. The elf was at a loss for what to do for a few moments before realizing that for once, he had some precious time to spend however he wanted. Maybe with a certain Tevinter mage.
So with a few parting words to the commander, Cyros began his trek across the walkway that connected Solas’ room and Cullen's in the hopes of reaching Dorian faster. However, a commotion at the gate stopped the Inquisitor in his tracks and he stared at where a couple of guards seemed to be having a bit of a problem with a citizen. Cyros sighed, knowing he'd have to deal with whatever was happening before being able to go see his lover. So he backtracked, going through Cullen's room once again (with an apologetic smile at the man's raised eyebrow) to the set of stairs to the left of the barn. Cyros descended as fast as he could before making his way to where the guards still seemed to be going at it with a person wearing a cloak. Figuring this mess was probably based off of some misunderstanding, the mage prepared himself to apologize profusely to whoever this visitor was who probably meant no harm at all. With a sort of sterness to his voice, Cyros spoke as calmly as he could once he was close enough for the three to hear him.
“What is going on here?” The guards looked away from the stranger at the sound of his voice and immediately saluted as one began explaining the problem.
“My lord, they refuse to give up their weapon no matter how many times we explain that Skyhold is peaceful ground.” The visitor in the cloak scoffed, a hand tightly gripping their bow as the other reached for their hood.
“You shems expect me to disarm when you carry around your weapons like trophies? Such warm hospitality.” The hood falls away to reveal black hair tied back into a ponytail and dark green lines etched into skin almost as pale as Cyros’. Said man's eyes widen as a smile slowly spreads across his face, one immediately mirrored by the woman whose face he hasn't seen I far too long.
“Would that be your doing, lethallin?” Cyros is so shocked and happy to see his sister that instead of saying anything back, he walks over to her and gives her a hug. She returns it with as much enthusiasm while being mindful of her bow, neither letting go for a few moments until Cyros breaks away in order to get a good look at his sister's face.
“Aneth ara, Arcaena! I can't believe you're here.” Said woman smiles wider as one of her hands begins idly playing with the hair hanging over her brother's left shoulder.
“Well, after all you did to help the clan, I figured I could leave for a bit and let the young ones handle the hunting. Less of a distraction for Zathras that way.” Cyros perked up at the mention of their mutual friend.
“How is Zathras by the way?” Arcaena shrugged a little as she adjusted the bow in her grip.
“He's still as uptight as ever about making sure our hunters are in top shape. However, he is currently thinking about asking Nenni to be his bond mate, so he's certainly changed at least a bit.” Cyros raises his eyebrows at the news and wants to continue asking about the clan until someone clears their throat behind him. The mage turns to see the guards who he had completely forgotten about and gives them a small nod before turning back to his sister.
“We should continue our conversation in my quarters.” Arcaena nods her understanding and begins to move towards the stairs, but Cyros stops her with a hand on her arm.
“As much as you don't like it, you'll have to disarm, lethallan. This is meant to he seen as a peaceful place and having you walking around ready to point your arrows at the first person who so much as glances at you would somewhat break that promise.” His sister raises her eyebrow as if looking to argue before obediently handing the guard her bow, then her quiver full of arrows after carefully removing them from her person. Cyros smiles at her cooperation, the guards bowing as both elves begin their journey towards the Inquisitor’s quarters. Arcaena gives them puzzled looks before her attention returns to her brother.
“Never thought I'd see the day where humans bow in respect to an elf. It doesn't weird you out?” Cyros takes his turn to shrug as they begin ascending the first flight of stairs.
“It's happened so often now that I've become almost used to it. At first, I would practically flinch away because of the unfamiliarity of it, but now that the Inquisition has gotten so big, I find that there are more important matters to worry about than someone bowing to me. Besides, Josephine, one of my advisors, is always going on about how presentation is everything. Guards bowing to me shows the power I have while nobles offer respect.” Arcaena sighs while shaking her head, eyes scanning her surroundings as they reach the top of the first flight of stairs.
“Political nonsense. But at least you're doing something good with it, lethallin.” Cyros gives a small half smile and another quick shrug.
“I try. Now please, continue telling me about Zathras finally thinking seriously about Nenni.” Arcaena smiles and doesn't hesitate to tell her brother all about what's happened with their friend, the conversation lasting all the way to the door separating them from Cyros’ room. The mage is the first to enter, climbing the stairs with excitement guiding his step. When he reaches the top of the stairs, however, that excitement dwindles when he sees his room is already occupied. Dorian is leaning on the wall next to the fireplace, smiling when he notices the new occupant of the room.
“Evening, Amatus. I hope you don't mind me popping into your quarters for a bit. I was wondering if you might want to indulge me with something.” Cyros wants to smile as well, flirt back and finally spend some alone time with this man, but Arcaena reaching the top of the stairs and stepping into Dorian’s line of sight has that smile vanishing
“Or not. Have I come at a bad time?” Cyros isn't really sure what to say since he never entertained the idea of introducing Dorian to any of his family. There was always something more urgent to keep his focus or the Tevinter mage was there to make him forget everything else. The elf is far from ashamed of being with Dorian, but his sister isn't the most comfortable or welcoming around people she doesn't know, least of all humans. Then again, while the other elf is a little hot-headed, leave her alone long enough and she'll eventually see reason. So, trying to maintain a calm exterior, Cyros minutely shakes his head as he gestures to his sister.
“Not really. My sister decided to stop by for a visit since we haven't seen each other in quite a while.” The new information makes Dorian's eyebrows raise, but before he can say anything, the Inquisitor is moving on to introductions.
“Dorian, this is my sister, Arcaena Lavellan. Arcaena, this is Dorian Pavus. He's-” Cyros is about to explain exactly what their relationship is that allows the Tevinter man to simply hang out in the Inquisitor’s quarters, but Dorian stops him by loudly clearing his throat and speaking.
“Leaving, actually. I wanted to see if the Inquisitor might enjoy some friendly conversation in the tavern, but seeing as he already has someone to entertain his more outrageous whims, we can convene at a later date.” Cyros watches in confusion as the other mage brushes past with a small tilt of his head before descending the stairs and leaving the room. The siblings stare at the door for a bit before Arcaena turns to her brother with a furrow between her brows.
“Is that a normal occurrence? Your followers barging into your room unannounced?” Cyros wants to sigh at how his sister is making him sound like some sort of dictatorial king.
“They're my friends, of course it's normal. I may be Inquisitor, but that doesn't mean I'm better than those helping me.” The elf refrains from explaining that Dorian is more than just a friend since the man in question seemed adamant Arcaena not know at the moment. Why that is, Cyros has no idea, but he plans on finding out later once he's shown his sister to her room. Until then, he lets her tell him about what's been going on with the clan, who's bonded and who's been guided by Falon’Din, as well as the peace they've found in Wycome. All while Dorian sits in the back of his mind like a spirit that just won't leave.
When Cyros went to find the other mage after leaving his sister to get some sleep (she was exhausted from her journey), he first thought to look in the library where Dorian always was, a book in hand while he either read or silently judged other people's fashion choices. Strangely enough, the man was nowhere in sight, so the Inquisitor decided that maybe he'd gone to the tavern after all. Just to make sure, Cyros had asked Varric who confirmed his suspicion of Dorian's whereabouts, and he all but jogged towards the building. Once inside, the elf wasn't sure what he would find, but seeing his lover rolling his eyes as Cole gave him the look of a kicked puppy should have probably been on his list. As he got closer, it became obvious that whatever pain Cole had tried to pry into was much worse than Dorian's relationship with his father. Especially when the young man who saw Cyros first immediately started walking towards him, something that made the Tevinter put on an almost desperate look as he tried to stop the spirit turned human.
“Cole, don't you dare-” But said man didn't listen and started trying to explain things to Cyros.
“He won't listen. I keep telling him it'll be fine, but he doesn't listen to me. Only you. It has to be you.” The Inquisitor looks between the two men, even over at Iron Bull who is trying to look as nonchalant as possible even though there's a tenseness to his body anyone would notice. Finally, Cyros looks back at Cole and ignores Dorian's sigh and mumbled ‘shouldn't have come here’.
“What exactly am I telling him will be fine?” If his own lover won't explain the problem then he might as well invest in the help from someone able to read emotions as if he were taking the words from an open book.
“Tightening, twisting, hurts in the chest, eyes. Rejection from him, already too much. From them, I'd break.” Cole then turns to look at Dorian before delivering the final piece of information needed to tell Cyros all he needs to know.
“He's afraid of disappointing you and your family, like he did with his. He doesn't want what happened with his father to happen to you.” Cyros frowns as realization dawns on him as to why Dorian left after stopping the elf from telling his sister they were involved. The man is afraid that once the Inquisitor’s family finds out who he's in a relationship with, they'll turn on Cyros all because of Dorian. Some part of the elf is happy to have someone willing to pretend they aren't together to keep him on good terms with his family, but that's a very small part that's quickly overshadowed by the pain of not being able to introduce Dorian as his partner. It must be a very big part too because Cole looks at him, mouth slightly open as if ready to read his own pain, but he thankfully doesn't when Cyros shakes his head before walking over towards Dorian. And when he stops at the mage’s side, the Inquisitor is grateful that there aren't a lot of people in the tavern at night.
“Is all that true?” The Tevinter man looks at him for a few long moments before letting out another sigh as he hangs his head.
“It is. You've told me before that same sex relationships aren't very common among the Dalish, not to mention that ones with humans are almost unheard of. You also told me how your sister is rather distrustful of humans, so I figured instead of upsetting her by saying that we're involved, you let her believe we're just friends so she doesn't go back to your clan and rant about how the evil magister has taken you as a slave because somehow, I believe that's what she'll see this as.” Cyros takes his turn to sigh, hoping that he'll be able to curb Dorian's fear.
“I did say they weren't common, but that doesn't mean they're nonexistent. It's just that most Dalish don't care what partner they have, but a lot of them want to do what's best for the clan. That means bonding with a woman or a man to make a child, hoping to further the security of our people. And… yes, human and Dalish relationships are rare, but it's happened before. Creators, one of our own even fell in love with a dwarf and, while it took some time, everyone came around.” The other mage looks at Cyros with what appears to be hope in his eyes and the elf has the confidence to continue from there.
“As for my sister, she may not agree at first, but she'll come around at some point. I know that better than anyone after all. Besides…” The Inquisitor gently grasps one of Dorian's hands in his, trying to look as serious as possible.
“Not being able to introduce you as my partner would be a disservice to both of us.” The other man huffs before his signature smirk is back and his other hand gestures in the air in an almost grand way.
“Of course. Introducing one such as myself would give anyone great satisfaction.” The words make Cyros roll his eyes, but having Dorian back to his usual self brings a smile to his face.
“Then tomorrow, after Arcaena wakes from her travel coma, that's the first thing we'll do. In the meantime, I figured we could return to my quarters so I can help you with… whatever it was you wanted me for.” The elf ignores Iron Bull's strained chuckle and instead focuses on his lover's genuine smile.
“Of course, Amatus.” The couple say goodbye to those in the tavern and begin walking towards Cyros’ room with a purpose. However, they only make it to the first set of stairs when Dorian's curiosity gets the better of him.
“By the way, I couldn't help but wonder about something.” The Inquisitor hums as a way to indicate that he's listening as the Tevinter man continues.
“Is your sister also a mage?” Cyros gives a smile to Varric as they pass him in the hall, one that's returned before his focus shifts back to Dorian.
“No, she's one of the hunters in our clan. I'd even argue that she's among the best.” His lover hums as though he's been presented with a puzzle.
“Then why the name Arcaena? With all due respect, one would assume you're the hunter and she's the mage based off of your names alone.” The elf chuckles, remembering the reason behind their ill-fitting names and the embarrassment the keeper still feels sometimes at remembering her blunder.
“Well, let me start out by saying that my sister was born minutes before me, something she never lets me forget. The keeper hadn't expected two since more than one child at a time is a little rare, but it normally means one will have more magical talent than the other.” Dorian hummed, letting Cyros take the lead as they ascended the stairs to his room.
“That's normally the case with any pair of children if magic runs strongly in the blood of one or both the parents.” The Inquisitor nodded as he went to sit on the bed, hands reaching for his boots as the other mage sat next to him.
“That's why she waited on naming us to see if one had a connection to the Fade. However, as she was watching over us one day, the keeper looked away for just a moment when she caught something purple out the corner of her eye. I had apparently sent a tiny spark of lightning from my hand, but since the keeper only caught a glimpse, she had assumed it was my sister's doing. Imagine everyone's surprise when it was later discovered that I could use magic while Arcaena couldn't. By then, our names were permanent.” Dorian laughs at the idea of an older Dalish elf looking mortified that she had misjudged which child could use magic and Cyros soon joins him in that laughter even though it's softer and not as loud. Just as quickly as it starts though, Dorian calms down and looks at the other man.
“That is quite the story. Not realizing which child had magic and just going by a hunch, I can't imagine how she must have felt to realize her mistake.” Cyros chuckles again, this time watching as his lover starts removing his own shoes.
“The keeper wasn't proud of it, I can tell you that. Especially since Arcaena and I would take many opportunities to remind her of why our names didn't match our roles within the clan. I don't really know if my sister kept up the teasing after I left, but chances are she did.” Dorian sets his boots nearly against the bed before his hand intertwines with Cyros’ once more.
“Well, at least now the poor woman can get some peace and quiet with the both of you here in Skyhold.” The Inquisitor smiles, thinking about their keeper sighing in relief at not being harassed about her error in judgment since both offenders are now miles from where she is.
“There's that, yes. Although that peace won't last long once Arcaena goes back. She'll want to make up for lost time.” Dorian shakes his head, hand tightening around Cyros’ as he brings it up to plant a kiss on the back of it.
“You really are siblings. You just can't help but make trouble for others.” The elf scoffs playfully, trying and somewhat failing to look immensely offended.
“It's not like I do it on purpose.” Dorian raises a single eyebrow, smile never faltering.
“No, it's most likely caused by your extremely terrible luck. Honestly, Amatus, no one attracts trouble like you do.” His smile then disappears as a thought strikes him.
“Well, Hawke probably does as well, but I'd be hard pressed to say he's had to deal with as many demons as we have.” Cyros nods in agreement, remembering how the champion had been reluctant to engage with most of the demons they encountered during their little Fade trip at Adamant. It also brings his attention back to what the demon had said, comparing Dorian to his father and scratching at old wounds. Cyros had been far from happy to hear those words, even with the other mage’s flippant response, and he can't imagine what he'll feel if Arcaena wants to try the same tactic of comparing Dorian to others. The elf won't be happy, but he won't dwell on it for the time being. That's an issue to worry about tomorrow as both men dress down until they remain in only their smallclothes, the Tevinter man deciding they should try to sleep over anything else. Cyros is a little reluctant at first since Dorian’s proposition is still fresh in his mind, but exhaustion rears its head quicker than he anticipated. Soon, both mages are asleep, safely tucked in the arms of each other.
Cyros takes a deep breath before ascending the stairs that will take him to the extra rooms above the garden. He's hopefully prepared himself for whatever his sister does or says once the Inquisitor tells her about his involvement with Dorian, so his steps don't falter as he reaches the door. Of course, what Cyros doesn't expect when he opens it is to see Arcaena already awake and leaning on the wall to stare down at the people milling about below. The hunter acknowledges the other elf with a softly uttered ‘brother’, not bothering to say anything beyond that. Cyros bites his lip as he moves closer, knowing this behavior means his sister is contemplating something, most likely what she plans on saying. The mage had seen it plenty when he was still living with the clan and it almost always ended with Arcaena revealing things that were probably better left unsaid. It makes Cyros worry, so he tries starting the conversation off in a way that doesn't hint he's about to drop something majorly important on his sister.
“Did you sleep well?” The other elf doesn't say anything in reply right away, simply watches as mother Giselle laughs with a scout before minutely shrugging.
“As well as expected, I guess. Not feeling the ground beneath me as I lay was certainly an interesting feeling.” Cyros understands how she feels since he too had thought that sleeping on a bed so high off the ground was a tad unusual when he first experienced it. Unfortunately, the mage is unable to continue his plan of talking about the mundane when Arcaena stands to her full height so she can face him.
“But it did give me a chance to think about a few things. Specifically about you.” Cyros gently bites his tongue as nervous anticipation pounds on his chest, politely listening to what his sister wants to say.
“You know I'm not blind. You know that hunters have a keen sense and sharp eyes. Which means you're fully aware that I've seen the way you look and act around that shemlen called Dorian.” The Inquisitor sighs, taking his turn to stare at the various people in the garden as Arcaena continues speaking.
“You can't do this, lethallin. Falling for a human is a very bad idea for one of us. It could lead to disaster.” Cyros rolls his eyes, his unmarked hand rising to pinch the bridge of his nose in frustration. He knew something like this was going to happen, and he plans on explaining to his sister just how wrong she is.
“You're wrong, Arcaena. Dorian isn't what you think. Yes, he's a bit rude, a little too full of himself sometimes, and would sooner insult someone than give them a compliment, but he's also loyal, strong, and would give his life to help someone he truly cared for. Assuming he's the same as the humans you've crossed paths with before would be insulting.” The hunter frowns slightly, watching her brother with a calculated gaze as she comes to a realization.
“You really like him that much?” Cyros breathes in, figuring it's now or never that he tells her exactly what's going on.
“I do, otherwise I wouldn't be with him.” It's a bit of a vague hint, but Arcaena seems to understand if the way her eyes widen are any indication. She then sighs, a hand rubbing her forehead over her vallaslin, causing the branches to warp and pull with her skin.
“Creators, I didn't think you had already chosen to pursue such a man. Fine, if this is what you want, then I won't try and dissuade you. If this shem… if this Dorian is as great as you say he is then I will support you.” Cyros smiles, quickly moving to hug Arcaena as tight as he can.
“Ma serannas, lethallan. It means a great deal to me to hear you say that.” The other elf rolls her eyes as she hugs back, hiding her smile that doesn't disappear once they separate.
“Just don't come crying to me when he breaks your heart.” Cyros chuckles as they both lean against the wall.
“He won't, trust me.” Arcaena scoffs, but doesn't say anything as the siblings decide to continue watching those wandering in the garden, sometimes listening in on conversations or making up their own when they can't hear what's being said. They enjoy the calm for a time, until Cyros remembers another piece of information he neglected to tell his sister. Bracing himself for her reaction, the mage doesn't look over as he mutters his next words.
“By the way, Dorian is from Tevinter.”