Work Header

Lotus Blossom

Chapter Text

"You seem happier than usual today," Dorian notes, when he stumbles into the library a little later than usual. Her eyes move up, and she smiles a little secretively.

"Is that so? I might say the same about you. How was Hawke?" she asks, and her smile doesn't waver at the light dusting of pink that rises to his cheeks.

He makes a small noise, before a grin spreads across his face, "Well, he says he doesn't just want a one-night thing. That was refreshing. Different from usual."

She squeezes his forearm, smile not fading even with her uncertainty regarding her own romantic situation.

"Cullen kissed me. Whether or not it's going to become a permanent thing remains to be seen. We're planning our trip to Val Royeaux."

She pinches the bridge of her nose and lets out a sigh, trying to resist the overwhelming urge to cry. The thought of being at the centre of attention in front of the entire Orlesian court, while pregnant, makes her want to vomit. She'd just gotten over her morning sickness, too.

Dorian squeezes her shoulder, "Anyone with eyes can see the man is completely smitten with you. As for the Winter Palace," he screws up his nose. "Well, how bad can it be?"

"You have got to be joking. I am not wearing that."

Josephine looks nervous, "Inquisitor, it is imperative we appear as an organisation- that means we must have a uniform."

Evelyn continues to glare. The outfit isn't awful, of course- for a woman who isn't pregnant. She's sure Josephine and Leliana will look lovely. She, on the other hand, will resemble like a beached whale. She rubs her belly and shakes her head. The fabric is unforgiving, and the sash? It won't even wrap around completely.

She lets out a long breath, "No. This is going to stretch around my stomach- and that's assuming it fits. I'll wear a dress of some sort- surely that would be acceptable?"

Cullen seems to be alright with that- nodding for all he avoids her eyes. Leliana turns to look at Josephine, raising an eyebrow.

"Surely you'd rather the Inquisitor appears graceful? Otherwise, the approval will dip significantly- you know their opinions of bastard children."

Evelyn's glare turns on the spymaster for that comment, but the other woman's gaze is cleverly averted. It's an uncomfortable truth- the child is a bastard, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with that. As soon as Corypheus is defeated, Evelyn plans to make her new mission 'change Thedas' opinion on children out of wedlock'.

That, perhaps, may be a more difficult task.

After a few moments of silence, Josephine nods.

"We'll get a dress in the same style. Perhaps if the women wear the same style, we will continue appearing united."

After a few moments, Evelyn waves a hand, "Dismissed."

Josephine and Leliana leave, but Cullen remains, hand on his sword. A nervous habit, she'd realised.

"Inquisitor, may I have a word?"

She nods her assent and goes to sit down in one of the chairs in the room. Her back is starting to hurt more, and standing for long periods isn't much of an option. The healer had assured her this is standard.

Of course, those were the less embarrassing of her... ailments. Her dreams, while usually difficult, had changed recently. Now, they featured Cullen- breathing heavily over her as he moved within her, getting to the point where she awoke sweating and frustrated, leading to her hand slipping between her thighs. She begins to slide back into those fantasies when she hears Cullen clear her throat, and she snaps to attention, cheeks aflame.

"Sorry. I- are you feeling better?"

He nods, "I am well. I thought perhaps- I mean, it's imperative we- well, not imperative , but certainly important-"

"You want to talk about last night?"

She interrupts his rambling, and he nods in relief, running a hand back through his hair. She raises an eyebrow, thumb rubbing against her belly- an invitation for him to share his thoughts. He opens and closes his mouth a few times and leans against the war table.

"I thank you for not... taking it at face value. It was thoughtful of you," Evelyn's heart sinks, and she opens her mouth to make an apology to leave, and he holds out a hand. "I don't mean that I didn't want it! I do. I find myself- even in this time of war and with everything changing, going wrong- falling for you."

He is blushing high on her cheeks, and she smiles gently, "Good. I find myself in rather the same position."

There is a pause, and she feels the need to address the other, obvious issue.

"But I do wonder, Cullen-" she bites her lip. "-what of my child? I need you to want them too. We're very much a... package deal."

Cullen swallows, but he nods regardless, holding out a hand. She stands, and he tentatively reaches out, warm palm on her stomach. Aside from Dorian (and Cole, who'd taken to showing up in her room and talking to her belly), nobody had really touched it. His thumb moves for a moment, and he nods again.

"You, and your child, Evelyn. I would have you both."

The grin that spreads across her face is broad and genuine, and she reaches for the back of his neck, pulling him into a long, lingering kiss. He makes a soft noise of surprise before one hand moves to cover at least half of her back, the other on her cheek, painfully tender. She pulls back after a few long seconds and bites her lip, before hearing a throat clearing at the door. Surprised, they both leap away from each other, only to see Leliana grinning at them, mischief and barely contained humour in her eyes.

"Josephine told me to come and get you so that we can get some new measurements for your dress fittings. But I can come back later if you'd rather- just be sure not to knock over any of the markers- they'd be difficult to put back into place."

For a moment, Evelyn is confused, before her, mind suddenly catches up to Leliana's words and her face reddens- War Table sex. Another fantasy for the arsenal, apparently.

"We weren't going to-"

"It's a little early for-"

Both of them speak at the same time, and it takes a moment for them to regain themselves. Evelyn brushes down her front.

"I will be with you in a moment," she says, and Leliana leaves with a nod, smirk still on her face.

Cullen groans as soon as the door closes, "I suppose my- our -personal business will not remain private."

Evelyn lets out a soft laugh and turns for another kiss.

"Did you expect anything else? We live in with some of the nosiest people in Thedas. No secret is safe in Skyhold."

He lets out a small laugh in response, and for the first time in months, she feels beautiful, desirable. There's even a little swing to her hips as she leaves, and the smile doesn't leave her face for the rest of the day- not even when the Orlesian tailor pokes and prods at her for three hours.