Death is lighter than a feather, Ellana Lavellan thought bitterly to herself as she rose out of a claw-footed tub in a dimly-lit room, but duty is heavier than a mountain.
As she willed the water droplets away from her body, Ellana gazed at her form in the old Fereldan mirror, a heavy iron monstrosity standing opposite the tub. She was no longer a girl: her breasts hung heavy, and she had developed a human's hips (much to her horror, at first). Battle-scars were her adornments and her armor, and they accentuated her smooth sun-kissed skin. Since the Conclave, she had been bound to war; these were her vallaslin, twisted and deep. Struggle had been her birthright. Running her remaining hand along her curves, she decided that she bore it well.
Of course, Solas' attractions to her were not entirely corporeal. He valued intelligence, compassion, and honor; a strength of spirit. As Ellana combed her dark hair out past her shoulders, she wondered why Solas was incapable of extending such compassion to the inhabitants of Thedas. A hundred whispers offered their answers; after a pause, she brushed them off. Adjusting to them after visiting Vir'Abelasan had been difficult, but a small price to pay for the well of insight she gained. For all her attachment to Mythal now, it was freeing.
And so, in turn, she would free her people from the brutal death sentence that Solas handed them. Even if the cost of their freedom slashed at her heart, never to be healed again.
It took Ellana a bit of convincing to get Solas to agree to meet with her. He had taken to appearing in her dreams, seemingly miles away; whenever she reached her hand out to him, he would disappear. FIve nights before her last meeting with Solas, something changed. She woke up in a manifestation of Crestwood, near the lake where Solas first broke her heart. As she dusted herself off, she could feel a pair of eyes on her, watching from the forest. Her heartache bubbled forth, and she could contain it no longer.
"Stop hiding from me!" she cried out without turning. "Come forth, so that we can finally say goodbye."
"Proper farewells are never enough," she heard a voice say as something padded closer to her. "But I cannot bear to watch you hurt, vhenan. Not like this."
Ellana turned. Her beloved stood before her, dressed in the simple tunic and leggings from his days masquerading as a hedge mage. Given his posture and the tired, freshly-haunted look in his eyes, it would be impossible to pass as such now. She supposed that he no longer needed to. But the look fooled her heart just the same, and something fluttered in her chest.
"I...I miss you," she said, voice cracking slightly. "And I know that I will miss you every day of my life. But the last time we saw each other..." she trailed off. The last time that they saw each other, he confirmed every suspicion that she held about his true identity, and informed her of Thedas' impending doom. The last time that they saw each other, he removed part of her arm and broke her heart. Again.
Solas frowned, but did not reach out to comfort her. "The tenor of our last encounter left much to be desired," he sighed, looking down at her shortened arm. "But I hurt no less than you in our parting. Would that I could make up to you, my heart."
Ellana jerked her head up, eyes glistening with tears not yet taking shape. "Then come to me," she said. "Let's spend one last night together."
"Vhenan, I cannot-"
"Come to me," she insisted, planting her feet firmly into the ground. "Five nights from now. In the real Crestwood, by the lake."
Solas quirked his eyebrow slightly, and cocked his head sideways. "You would choose a place associated with pain and heartbreak as our final meeting place?"
"Yes." She fiercely locked eyes with him, daring him to decline. "I want closure, Solas. I don't have a thousand year's experience of just shutting myself off to heartbreak. I can't just shrug and sleep it off like you," she snapped. Solas looked as if he had been slapped, and she turned her head out of shame. She still recalled their conversation on the morning after their breakup; the tone in his voice could have chilled the rotunda. For many nights after she sobbed alone in her quarters, and found it difficult to complete missions in Crestwood for weeks after. But it gave her no right to lash out at him, especially given the circumstances.
"I'm sorry," Ellana said hastily. "But if I cannot have you, and if I'm to die while you...create your new world," she waved her hand defensively, "then I want to give that place a new memory. Something better to hold onto in my final moments."
Solas stared at her silently for a long time before responding. "Would it not be best to meet here in the Fade?" he finally asked. "We would have more privacy."
"From people, perhaps, but not a full audience of spirits," she volleyed back, placing her hand upon her hip. "Besides," she added, swaying suggestively as she edged closer, "If I bathe in honey and rosewater, how well would you be able to smell it from here?"
Something flickered to life in her lover's eyes; he moved as if to take her into his arms, but held back. A faint smile played about his lips, and he wagged a knowing finger as he took a step backward.
"You are adept at persuasion, however little it took me to agree to this," he chuckled. "Very well. I shall meet you at Crestwood Lake. But it must be the last time that we join in the flesh. Forever."
Ellana permitted a small smile. "I can live with that. Or I'll try."
Solas' face softened further.
"Ar lath ma, vhenan," he murmured, allowing himself to gently cup her cheek. "I look forward to holding you once again."
When the sun rose the next morning, Ellana had awoken in tears.