Lavellan does as she is told. She hardens. But rage boils beneath the surface, replacing, eating, burning …..
Solas’ words ring and ring and ring in her ears and when she confronts him afterwards, another round is merely added to them.
She stumbles off. Searching. Comfort.
She is bare-faced and humiliated and every glance and long look upon her feels like a bitter pity to all she gave up.
Dorian is with Bull when she seeks him out. There is an uncertain look to his face when he sees her.
(A burning jealousy flares vicious and bitter at the lingering touches between the ‘Vint and Qunari; bile burning acid and sour at the back of her throat)
Sera and Dorian assume themselves as her guardians at Skyhold. At the Herald’s Rest. At the Rotunda. Everywhere within the halls that bore signs of Solas’ touch, they are beside her.
Warmth at her shoulders.
They speak ill of him. Of his poor choices. Of his lies.
Even Viviene coos her apologies (something that would have made Lavellan humiliated if not for the warm understanding in her eyes).
She toys sleeping with Cullen. The man sweet and generous and kind. With an ache in his own soul, not mirrored, but just as destructive and damning to one’s mental health and esteem. She has felt his eyes upon her since Haven’s destruction. What she thought was adoration and worship, seems like true love.
She wonders if that is how she was toward Solas. A young hound with adoration for its master. Seeking affirmation of it’s good behavior.
(Though Cullen is no young pup. He is a lion, a creature of danger and force and rage. Something she learned when his withdrawal grew fierce and he found out why she had spent so many days hidden away from them all).
Cole tries to help. The boy truly tries. One the one trip where neither Dorian or Vivienne could help, research or other appointments raising up. Forcing, forcing, forcing….
Like fate wanted them back together.
The spirit murmurs her fears. Her self-loathing. Her hate . For her empty face, she must look at when she looks into the mirrors and water of Skyhold and the world.
Her words are bitter and malice. Blade slicing through air; demanding. And the man is just as elusive and withdrawn, voice finally firming when Cole reaches too far.
Lavellan is brave enough to speak to him. Once.
He will only join a mission if none other mages can go. And if it is related to thei- her culture.
He has renounced her in all forms. She will renounce him.
(Rage bubbles and spews and ooooozes. She recalls the story he tells, of the town destroyed by lava and ash; of its people perfectly preserved. She would rather watch him suffer and burn alive; feel the wrath and hate and self-loathing that has fallen upon her ).
She hates her clan. Safe as they may be, thanks to good advisors and quick thinking. But it is their fault for sending her. For asking her, for sending her to Haven. To the conclave. If she had been left alone, another of her clan sent.
Her heart would be spared.