Amara sighed, a lock of long curls tucked safely behind one ear while the rest of her mass of tangles are tied loosely.
"You swore." She accused, one hand on her hip, the other clutched around a short sword. Her time with me had only made her bolder and more confident. Gone was the tiny foul mouthed mage, before me stood a girl who was a little older, a lot wiser, and slightly less foul mouthed. "You fucking promised me you'd stay in bed and I find you out here." Her eyes dart to my belly. "Are they alright?"
I laid a soft hand over the swell and nodded. "Feisty as ever and making me sick but they are fine."
"Bella told you to stay where you were and sip your peppermint tea, but you didn't listen to her." Amara chided as she stepped forward to pick up her shield. Ideally both of us would be back at Skyhold waiting for the new arrivals but when Ellana asked that I attend the Exalted Council with her I couldn't refuse. Amara was to stay behind but when we found her trailing after us the fifth day on the road there was no sending her back.
"Mother like daughter." I pointed out. She growled a string of profanities that she only loosed upon the world in my presence. "And just what pray tell are you doing out here?"
Her cheeks took on a slightly darker hue and I knew she was flustered. "Ellana said that…. Someone with his name was out here."
I laughed and nodded, "I know, why do you think I'm here?" I held out a hand and wiggled my fingers at her, "Come on, climbing is difficult for me these days."
She stifled her own laughter and clicked her tongue several times. Gypsy let out an answering howl before she ran from her hiding spot.
"Planning an ambush?" I asked as Gypsy bounced around me, careful not to actually bump into me.
"Gypsy seems like a bigger threat, so if I can't cow them on my own…" she trailed off and gave me a meaningful look.
"Good girl." Her hand clasped mine and she helped me over the ridge. "Now…" I looked at all of the Eluvians that spanned the areas in between. "Did you happen to see which way they went?"
"Ellana has been all over," Amara pointed to the one farthest away. Of course it was that one. "But she went through that one last. A group of Qunari went through first. I don't think she saw them."
"Should have known. He never did make anything easy." Amara dropped my hand and stated walking.
"Are you going to be okay if we get into a fight?" Her eyes were pinched with concern and it upset me that I was the cause of that.
"Child," I made an annoyed noise at her, "I taught you how to fight."
Her eyes darted to my belly again, "I wasn't almost two years pregnant." She pointed out.
"I should fucking hope not." I gasped and bent over. My stomach constricted. It felt like all of the muscles in my abdomen were doing their best to shred themselves. Amara stepped closer and Gypsy pushed her shoulder against me in effort to keep me standing. I stood there and just breathed for what seemed like hours until the pain relented and I straightened. "Come on, if we're lucky we can slip by Ellana while she is distracted with the Qunari."
There was no doubt in my mind that he was here. The elves were too scared of adopting his name, lest he be real. No, Fen'Harel was walking these pathways and I would be damned thrice over if I didn't get the chance to yell at him. Ellana had come to me with suspicions and the strange findings she'd uncovered while she walked the bizarre topsy turvy library. I'd kept my mouth shut for the better part of two years, a couple more days wasn't too hard.
Amara knew though. I'd told her the man that treated her like his own daughter was straight out of legend. Nothing like knowing the Dread Wolf walked your dreams and kept you safe. It'd done wonders for me.
The three of us managed to skirt most of the danger. Amara was quick with her sword and shield, but she didn't need the weapons to be deadly. There was no elegant movements on my part, just well-placed throws to knock ancient spirits bound to this place and Qunari off the ledge and into the waiting abyss below them.
The contractions were coming faster now and I wasn't so sure this was another false labor. I had a couple more months, at least by the estimations we had. It wasn't like I could piss on a stick and find out how long I'd been pregnant. And no one had told me elves were pregnant anywhere from a year and a half to three years.
Probably because no one in this age knew that elf pregnancies used to last that long and the one GOD DAMNED PERSON who could have told me vanished like a fart in the wind when his orb broke.
Ask me if I was still salty, I fucking dare you.
"Take Gypsy," I ground out between contractions, "and scout ahead."
"I'm not leaving you alone." Amara retorted, a scoff barely concealed in her tone. "Gypsy stays here with you."
"Go to hell child," I snarled. "You are not going out there with Qunari running around without the massive wolf at your back."
"And what about you?" She demanded, "You're a fucking barn walking on stilts cunt! There is no way you'll survive if-"
There was a large bellow and a male Qunari came flying down upon us. My eyes widened and I threw a hand out to hit him with throw. Amara twisted, one of her auras activating to provide a shield for those around her. Her sword sliced out, digging into the soft flesh his belly. Blood sprayed in an arc as he was bodily thrown away from us. Another flick of my fingers and he was held in place by my biotic singularity.
"Shut. Up." I gasped as I forced myself to stand and glared daggers at her. "Call me a barn again and you'll lose your allowance."
"Pbft…" she rolled her eyes at me. "You don't pay me, Leliana does."
"Gonna have a talk with her." I panted as we started moving again. Amara's hand was clasped tightly around my bicep, keeping me upright. "It isn't fair that the Divine fucking pays you to spy on me."
"Not just on you." Her tone was snide, "On all elves." I glared sideways at her. "Hey, don't look at me like that. Leliana was concerned when all the elves were mysteriously disappearing around you."
I chuckled, "Tell her not to look in the gardens."
Amara's eyes went wide, "Is that why the flowers have been growing out of control?"
"I couldn't have his people relaying my delicate situation back to him." I leaned back, placing a hand on my side. Mother fucker if the contractions hurt this badly what was it going to be like during actual labor and pushing that melon sized head out of my vagina. "So what if a few of his agents disappeared. He didn't come running."
"Probably because Emma and Tomen had stringent security set up around you at all times." She clucked her tongue at me. This girl was so much more than her years gave credit. Only nine and she had lived through a war and survived training with me. She came out the other side well prepared, but she didn't behave like any nine year old ever had. I stripped her of her childhood and I so desperately hadn't wanted to. "I'd like to see fucking Fen'Harel walk past all of that shit."
"There is a secret passage in my rooms that leads to the archives." I told her softly. The look she turned on me was venomous.
"Why didn't you tell us before?!" She demanded hotly.
"I wanted to see if he'd come!" I shot back. Gypsy pushed her nose to the side of my face. The wolf was absolutely, terrifyingly, massive. Her shoulder came up to my shoulder. "Why am I not riding the wolf?" I questioned suddenly.
Amara's tirade stopped before it started, her mouth flopping open and closed several times before she let out a, "God damn it why didn't I think of that?"
Getting a pregnant woman on the back of an uncooperative wolf who just wanted to sniff at my skirts was such a pain in my imaginary dick. There was a lot of yelling, sit and stay while I tugged on Gypsy's fur and Amara got behind me to push. Gypsy gave us open mouthed whines. It'd been a long time since I'd ridden her into battle, and only when it had been desperate.
"Maker woman, you've gotten fat."
"It’s the baby weight!" I snarled as my face smushed into Gypsy's fur. My leg found it's way over and I pulled while pushing with my knee. Suddenly I was sitting on her back, panting heavily. Amara was flushed and there was a faint sheen of sweat across her face. "You have got to stop hanging around Cullen."
"We are never speaking about this."
"Agreed." I nodded quickly. No one needed to know about my struggle to climb onto a wolf. "Come on, let's go."
The sound of fighting erupted behind us and Amara and I shared a wide eyed look.
"Hurry." She hissed as she bounded away on light feet. I envied the girl at that moment, able to climb everything with such ease.
My fingers tightened in Gypsy's fur as Amara fervently whispered to the wolf. Gypsy followed her and it wasn't long before we stood in front of massive Eluvian. It was easily twice as tall as the Giants that wandered the Emerald Graves and three times as wide.
"Behind the pillar, quick." I snapped my fingers and pointed. "Hide, until I give the word."
"Don't argue with a pregnant woman on the verge of murder!" I growled, "I am still your mother you will do as I tell you and fucking hide." We'd have a not so pleasant chat about this later.
"I'm hiding too, but I can't get over stupid obstacles at the moment." I pointed at a pillar that was ten feet away. "It is big enough to cover my belly bulge."
Amara nodded, "If I hear you cussing I'm not staying hidden."
I snorted, "I never expected you to." I patted her cheek fondly, "Take the wolf."
She growled and bobbed her head quickly. "Come on Gypsy." Amara and the wolf disappeared behind a pile of rubble. I could see the top of Gypsy's ears until I heard a string of curses and lay down from behind it. Content that they were out of danger for the moment I took a second to look around.
It resembled what, I imagined, ancient Rome looked like. The ruins, like everything else in this god forsaken place, was at the edge of a cliff, broken pieces littered the ground at the drop off like the earth had simply given away. Given what I knew of how the pathways worked, how they were a construct of the Waking and the Dream… one cut from another and this place couldn't exist as it once had.
Grass was soft against my bare feet. These last two years had been hell and I seriously contemplated murdering anyone who made shoes for a living. My feet were swollen on any given day making it impossible for me to actually wear my boots or any other shoe. As a result the bottom of my feet grew tougher, until it wasn't necessary for me to wear shoes at all.
Elf blooded bullshite. I actually liked shoes. My boots were the best. Leliana had them specially made for me and… oh I was in love with them. They went above the knee, three inch platform heels with a poison compartment in the left one and a hidden blade in the right. It was an assassins wet dream.
In the distance I saw a figure walking toward me. Their head was down and even at this distance I knew it was him. The top of his head was shaven clean and I found myself missing the feel of the short hairs against the tips of my fingers. I would spend hours while he slept just laying next to him, caressing his ears and running my hands over his head.
My heart ached as he walked closer. In the, quickly approaching four, years I'd spent in this body I'd learned a few new things. I could be quiet when I wanted to now. And I never wanted anything more. Tangling my hands in my skirts I hiked them up and slipped over the rough surface of the ground to hide behind the pillar. That was another thing I hated. Maternity pants did not exist in Thedas because elastic had not been invented. Pants and loose shirts were out of the question because the pant's wouldn't stay up and I absolutely refused to wear suspenders.
Now that I was here, I didn't think I could confront him. He'd left me, without a fucking word. And he took my heart with him. Ellana, bless her, comforted me in the early days, the ones that turned to drinking and cursing at him. Well, she drank and I abstained. Pregnant and all that shit. My children would be born better than I had been.
My ears twitched as they picked up the sound of his slow stride. The sound of his voice made me want to weep, even if I couldn't understand what he was saying, the cadence was his alone. Memories of bitter fights and the sweet make ups, the hushed words whispered in the dark. His voice was made for a lover. When he spoke it carried a passion for life I would never find again.
"Ebasit kata. Itwa-ost."
"Maraas kata!" The voice that answered him was feminine, though it carried a smoky touch to it.
"Your forces have failed. Leave now, and tell the Qunari to trouble me no further." I pressed farther into the marble column behind me, my eyes tightly sealed. My heart hammered away in my chest and all I wanted to do was burst out from behind my cover and run to him. I hated myself in that moment. But I wanted him, not needed, wanted. I had everything I needed and yet… and yet…
I loved him. Despite knowing that he walked, he was still with me in a way. I carried him inside of me—literally—and he walked the fringes of my dreams, banishing my nightmares before they were even born.
There was no way for him to deny that he still loved me. I knew he did, he just thought the best way to complete his goals—whatever they may be—was to be parted from me. He was full of shit and I was going to make him see that if it killed…. If it killed… I couldn't let it kill me. I had a little one to look after, and more on the way. I couldn't be selfish like that.
Solas didn't know about my situation. As soon as I started to show I blocked all elves from having access to me, restricted Skyhold to only a few and Ellana withdrew the Inquisition down the mountain to prevent any spies from having access to me. She didn't understand why I made the request, but she was willing to when I cried at her. Yes I cried at her, and it scared her enough she did it without further questions.
The woman let out what sounded like a war cry and I heard something slam into the ground. Then all sound vanished except for Solas' quiet stride. I breathed easy, he was still alive.
"Solas." I cursed internally. Ellana was already here. It wasn't supposed to go down like this. I wanted to talk to him before she got here. But she was so like Jane, moving quickly. Once she gained her confidence as Inquisitor she was a force to be reckoned with.
"I suspect you have questions." His voice was soft but it would have carried for miles in this place.
I gathered my wits about me, pressing anything but my sheer determination to the back of my mind and stepped out from behind my cover. Quickly my eyes darted to where Amara hid with our wolf. Her head popped out in my direction and I subtly shook my head. She vanished from my vision.
Ellana met my gaze and she gave a tired sigh. "I should have known you'd be here." I gave her a wicked grin and walked toward her, every step placed with a confidence I felt in my very bones. She may have been a force to be reckoned with but I was a force of nature now. There was no quelling me, no containing me.
At the sound of my voice Solas turned. The sight of him drinking in my face was… hauntingly achingly beautiful. Every line softened and there was a faint smile that shone more brightly in his eyes than it did on his mouth. The mouth that I firmly believed was sculpted by gods. Oh god the things that mouth could do.
The muscles in my stomach constricted again and I bent over, pressing the palms of my hands to the underside of my swollen belly. My hair flipped over my face and I let out a grunt of pain. A hand gripped my arm and steadied me. When the pain subsided I gazed at the hand, following the golden armor up to the face of my mate.
"Vhenan?" His voice was pained and he looked like he was in shock, his other hand was pressed to my stomach. At that moment one of the little ones decided to kick. Tears clouded his eyes and he swallowed roughly.
"Good to know that I can still surprise you."