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Embrace of the Sun

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Vivienne had been the one to first mention the meaning of the small yellow flower Lavellan had been gathering along the edges of a crumbling wall. 

Apparently the small flower held a greater meaning in Orlais. Her story of a pair of lovers, a bouquet of flowers, a misunderstanding, and then their increasingly public declarations of love sounded like something from one of Varric’s stories. 

Lavellen does not understand all the nuances of this Game, the need to say things in a dozen silent ways instead of just once plainly, but the story sticks in her memory. That such a simple plant can carry such a message is interesting. She sees the bright blooms and only thinks of their healing properties, the fragrant poltices made to help heal burns or soothe aching joints. The joy at knowing the seasons have changed, the time of blooming and renewal are at hand. 

When she returns to Skyhold and bundles the tangled flowers together into bundles to hang to dry, an idea begins to form.  

A ridiculous idea. But she’s been thinking for weeks and weeks now and hasn’t come up with a better one. She has no idea how shems court each other, and even seemingly ridiculous ideas are worth trying. Maybe she should ask Vivienne again, just to make sure. 

Josephine is writing at her desk, as she often is, when Lavellan finds her. She stands before her desk, one hand behind her back, hiding her present. 

It only takes Josephine a moment to notice her and come to a stop. 

“How can I help you Inquisitor?”

The title still sounds strange, but less so coming from Josephine. Lavellan clears her throat before steeling herself to speak her mind. 

“Do you have a moment my Lady? Er, I mean Josephine.”

Perhaps it would be best to avoid titles. This is personal business. 

Josephine of course picks up on the switch. “Of course I have time for you my friend. What is it you need?”

Lavellan brings her hand forward and presents a bundle of the small yellow flowers. She’d done her best to keep this bundle intact and unbent on the journey back to Skyhold from the Hinterlands.

Josephine blinks in surprise and Lavellan rushes to explain.  

“Vivienne explained to me what these flowers were used to say by those in the Game. I would like you to have them. I have become...quite fond of you. You’ve welcoming. And kind! And your help has been invaluable. And-”

She’s cut off by a touch. Josephine stepping out from behind the table to take the flowers from one hand and to grab the Inquisitor’s empty hand with her other. Effectively silencing her babbling. 

“Thank you Inquisitor. I am...surprised, but pleased to accept this token.” 

Lavellan let slip a sigh of relief. “I am glad. For a moment I wondered if our Madame de Fer was playing some kind of elaborate prank on me.” She look away for a moment before shyly meeting Josephine’s eyes again. “You see, the Dalish do not have courting rituals like this. We are often much more blunt in our intentions. Things or gestures can have so many different meanings here!”

Josephine laughed, light and clear in the mountain air. 

“Well, you are off to a wonderful start.” She squeezed the hand in hers and Lavellan smiled so wide it was sure to be distorting the lines of vallaslin on her cheeks but she didn’t care. Josephine returned her feelings! She was so lost in excitement she almost missed what Josephine suggested. 

“What? Oh! I mean yes! Of course I’d love to meet here for super.”

“Excellent,” Josephine declared. “I shall make sure we have everything we need, Inquisitor. Or, I mean...Lavellan.” She flushed lightly and Lavellan thought it utterly charming. They released their hands to return to their respective tasks, but before exiting Lavellan turned back to Josephine who was holding the bouquet to her nose. 

“Perhaps if you are lucky tonight Lady Montillei, you will have the honor of learning my family name.”

Josephine smiled. “I think we shall have a great many things to learn about one another tonight.” The smile grew mischievous, “and in the nights following.” 

Lavellan’s blush lingered high on her cheeks as she navigated the main hall and until she reached her quarters to collapse upon the bed in relief and anticipation. Tonight could not come soon enough.