He snorted into his mug of sweet hot cocoa as his eyes trailed down the page of the old manuscript in his lap. The “facts and theories” on the Fade many of these "scholars" had written in the last several thousand years were a fine mix of superstition and outright fabrication. It was rare any of the materials he requisitioned yielded any new information or offered a reliable perspective, but at least they were entertaining. It was a pleasant way to spend an evening as the Inquisitor celebrated her first--of many, he dreaded--successful dragon slaying with the rest of the hunting party down in the pub.
He stretched languidly across the sofa in his rotunda, drowsy from warmth and the heavy Fereldan stew that had been served for dinner. A most pleasant evening, indeed.
Until Dorian burst through the door with a bloodied and dazed elf cradled in his arms and a very sheepish-looking Iron Bull trailing behind him.
“Sorry to disturb your reading, Solas, but we’ve a bit of a problem.”
The manuscript scattered across the floor as he hastily rose and gestured for Dorian to put her there on the sofa. Blood covered the lower half of her face and front of her pale green tunic, and still oozed from her nose. He grabbed the bowl of water and a pigment-stained rag from by the scaffolding, thankful a servant hadn’t come by to dispose of it yet.
“Vhennnnnnan,” she slurred and gave him a dopey grin as he knelt down in front of her. Whatever had occurred, it hadn’t dampened her good spirits. Did she not feel her injury at all?
“Look at your face,” he murmured and cupped her cheeks in his hands. She giggled and nuzzled his palm. His nose wrinkled at the pungent stench of alcohol thick on her breath. That explained why she didn’t seem to be in any pain. He cast an accusatory glare over his shoulder at Dorian. “What happened?”
“ Someone --” Dorian scoffed and jerked his head towards Bull. “--had a little too much to drink and thought it a good idea to reenact the dragon hunt.”
“It was her idea!” Bull flushed a darker grey when Solas’ glare focused on him. “The rafters were a lot lower than I remembered them…”
“If you hadn’t gotten her utterly wasted on that swill you call a drink, maybe she--”
Solas sighed and ignored their bickering. He gently dabbed the blood from her face as he recalled just what had been the key to their success: Ren scaling the Iron Bull’s shoulders and leaping onto the dragon’s back to sever the ligaments in its wings. It had been a very successful maneuver, though he’d nearly had a heart attack when it had thrown her into a rock face and knocked the breath from her.
He could very easily picture what had happened in the pub; she was adept at climbing, even drunk.
Ren flinched and whined loudly when he pressed a glowing hand to the bridge of her nose. The cartilage knit back together and the bleeding slowed to a halt. She was going to feel it in the morning, and the center of her face was already darkened with a fantastic bruise. Perhaps that would make her think twice before attempting such maneuvers under the influence.
It probably wouldn’t. But one could dream.
He finished cleaning the blood from her and tossed the rag into the bowl. She tried to follow him as he rose, and succeeded only in stumbling into his chest. He stooped slightly and lifted her up in his arms. She buried her face into the crook of his neck, let out a pained whine, and finally settled with her chin on his shoulder.
“Come have a drink with us, Solas,” she said, slurring his name.
He chuckled and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “I think you have had more than enough drink tonight, vhenan.”
She mumbled something unintelligible back and yawned hugely in his ear. She was in no state to be walking, certainly not up the flights of stairs to her chambers. He also wasn’t entirely certain she hadn’t received a mild concussion.
He shifted his grip to support her properly and gave Dorian and Bull a nod. “I believe it’s time for the Inquisitor to retire for the evening.”
“Right. We’ll let everyone know she’s going to live.” Dorian held the door open for him.
“Don’t have too much fun without us!” Bull said brightly, and received a smack on the arm from Dorian. “Uh… sorry. Thanks for taking care of the Boss for us.”
“I do not mind. Enjoy the rest of your evening, gentlemen. Try to stay out of trouble.”
She certainly wasn’t going to cause anymore tonight. She was already asleep.