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let linger

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The Inquisitor is curled against him so sweetly- her self proclaimed ‘favorite spot in Skyhold.’ The position involves the couch in his study, himself with a tome and a mug of tea, then her, settled into his side, a book of her own, and head pillowed on his shoulder. 

Until now, this has been one of Solas’ self proclaimed favorite spots as well, warm companionship welcome after so long. But now…

He peaks down, realizing that she’s dozed off as his free hand runs through the short crop of her hair. The image is heartbreaking, suddenly fleeting, just a flash of a moment after ten thousand years. Giving this up will be more difficult than he’d originally planned. For just a second, he doubts himself- a feeling so jarring he nearly jerks and risks waking his love. For just a fraction of a second, he thought that maybe he’d rather have her than the world, and it was frightening. 

There’s no way to tell her, of course, that he’s going to leave. That Solas is but a mask, that his duty as Fen’harel calls. And because he is weaker than he imagined, there is no way to keep his distance- to turn away morning tea, or tell her he’d prefer solitude this evening. To turn his cheek to her kisses, or to keep his hands from folding with hers. 

Solas gives into the temptation, kisses the top of her head once- twice- three times, before moving his long fingers to play with the hair at the nape of her neck. Regret is slowly becoming an accepted part of his emotional repertoire. What he regrets, however, is fuzzy still- whether it has to do with hurting her, or with his people, or simply the world as it has become. He can’t give up his fight, but he also wonders, from time to time, if he even wants to continue.

Before he can give it more thought, though, his beloved is stretching awake beside him. “Mm, the Commander ran me ragged today… I didn’t realize I was quite so exhausted.” Her voice is still gravelly with sleep, but her smile is sheepish as she leans up to press a kiss to his pink-tinged cheek. Solas is a weak, weak man. 

“There is nothing to worry about, ma vhenan.” His tone is softer than velvet, and he can feel his eyes crinkle at the edges as his thumb caresses her cheek. Despite everything, she is the most precious thing in the world. Oh, it will be devastating to lose her. Bringing his hand up, he brushes his thumb over her bottom lip before leaning over to kiss her chastly. As if that would make any of this easier.

A frown nearly tugs at the corner of his lips when she nuzzles her way into his neck. She has no idea what’s coming.