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Fool's Errand

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Lavellan knows he is dreaming. He always knows these days. He’s not a mage, doesn’t have the connection to the Fade that they do, but he’s interacted with it enough, been in it enough to recognize the telltale signs that something was just a little off, not quite right. It’s another things for him to blame on Solas.

No, Lavellan tells himself. He won’t let himself go down that road anymore. Over two years since Solas first left, just over two weeks since he left again, and Lavellan can’t help but love him even now knowing the monster that he is. Maybe it’s because he met the man beneath the monster first.

There’s hate there too, hate for Solas and his manipulations, self-hate even, and Lavellan hates that he feels this way, that Solas still makes him feel this way, even now knowing who and what he was. Lavellan knows that pulling Solas off his path might be a fool's errand, but he at least has to try.

Lavellan feels Solas there on the edge of his dream just out of sight where the edges start to blur. It’s not the first time and certainly won’t be the last he’s sure. “You’re a coward,” Lavellan says expecting his words to be met with silence as they’ve always been in the past. He isn’t prepared for Solas to materialize out of the shadows.

For a moment, Lavellan can’t help but wonder if this is a spirit or a demon, but looking closer, Lavellan realizes that no, this is really Solas, as real as anything can be in the Fade. He’s dressed in the simple clothes that he favored when they traveled together rather than the armor and the wolf pelt he’d worn when they’d last met among the Eluvians.

“Vhe—”

Lavellan’s face twists into a snarl as he interrupts, “Do not try to placate me with pretty words! I will not have it!”

Glancing behind him, Solas says, “Perhaps I should not have come.”

“Coward,” Lavellan repeats again, yellow eyes blazing in fury as his hand reaches out, his left hand because his brain still hadn’t gotten used to the fact that it was gone yet, and catches Solas’ wrist lest he try to run, even knowing that he has no true way to hold him here if he did not wish to be here.

Solas bows his head, lips tugged down in a frown of sadness as his eyes settle on Lavellan’s hand. “I should not have allowed this to happen, but I will not apologize for my feelings.”

“Forgive me if I’m less than interested in speaking about your ‘feelings’. You made your choices long before you ever met me, and my feelings are clearly of little consequence to you. I would have your reasons, not the pretty words you sprouted before when I was too shocked and in too much pain to question them.”

Solas’ face goes carefully blank before he laughs. “Oh, vhenan,” he says, ignoring the flash of Lavellan’s eyes. “How I have missed your spirit and frankness.”

“Oh, yes. It must be so hard living with a legion of servants at your beck and call. Do not try to change the subject.”

With his free hand, Solas reaches to push a stray curl behind Lavellan’s ear and cups his jaw. “You see the monster, yet do not run.” He sighs, a heavy sound. “You would do best to forget me.”

“Clearly I am a fool for you know I cannot,” Lavellan snaps. “You are certainly not lacking in power. If your goal is to rip down the Veil, why have you not done so yet?”

“It is not a simple thing, and even I, with the power that I have gathered, do not yet have enough to do so. My people do not deserve the fate that I have wrought on them.”

“And mine do?” Lavellan asks incredulously. “Your ‘people’ are as good as dead. The world has changed in the millennia without them. Don’t we deserve a chance?”

“You don’t know what you’re missing.”

“If you tear down the Veil how many of us do you think will survive, thank you, praise you, worship you? Should we miss that which we’ve never known? Should we be grateful that you decided to play god? You renounce the Evanuris for their actions, yet you’re exactly the same, aren’t you? So caught up in your pride that you don’t even notice what you’ve become.”

“That’s enough!” Solas shouts, eyes flashing a silver blue as his hand suddenly fists in Lavellan’s hair and yanks his head back.

The hair on Lavellan’s arm rises and his skin prickles with the sudden increase of electricity in the air, and despite their position, despite the barely contained fury that he’s drawn to the surface, he feels no fear, fool that he is. Instead Lavellan mocks him. “Would you have me kneel before you, worship at your feet? Should I strip naked and offer myself to you?” Solas’ eyes drop to Lavellan’s lips, and Lavellan can’t help but smirk. “You think you’re better than us, that you’re above us. But for all your knowledge and power you’re just the same.”

Solas’ mouth slams down over his, hard and bruising, and Lavellan bites at Solas’ lip none too gently, licking his suddenly blood stained lips as Solas jerks back with a pained gasp. “I will not be silenced because you don’t want to hear the truth of my words. If you will listen to no others, then you will hear them from me. This world may not be the same world you knew, but that does not make it better or worse. It just makes it different.”

“Oh, vhenan, do not ever change,” Solas says as he wipes at the blood that drips down his chin. His grip on Lavellan’s hair loosens as his hand once again moves to curl over his jaw.

Lavellan angrily shoves it away. “My words mean nothing to you. Why are you even here?”

“You draw me like a moth to the flame. Despite my best intentions, I can’t make myself stay away, even knowing how much I hurt you.”

Solas's eye widen, and Lavellan sudden realizes he's said so much more than he intentioned. The laugh that escapes Lavellan’s lips is hollow. “So you place the blame on me as always. I interrupted Corypheus’ ritual. I stole your anchor. I showed you that we’re worth saving. Selfish man that I am, I loved you.”

“No,” Solas denies with a shake of his head. “You are not at fault here, merely a victim of circumstance who proved himself to be extraordinary when the odds were stacked wholly against him.”

“You would see yourself a martyr for a people who are dead.”

“Not dead,” Solas corrects. “Merely trapt for an eternity as a result of my misstep.”

“Yet those half-lives mean so much more to you than those of us who can’t reach the Fade.” Lavellan shakes his head sadly, knowing that his words are falling on deaf ears. “Your people will not thank you any more than mine will thank you when they realize what you really plan to do.”

“I seek not thanks or recognition. I only seek to right the wrong that I have wrought.”

“Do two wrongs make a right, vhenan?” Lavellan’s lips purse in displeasure as the endearment slips out unbidden.

Solas’ gaze is full of pity. “You are so young. Someday you will understand.”

“No,” Lavellan snaps with a shake of his head. “I will never understand.”

Suddenly glancing over his shoulder, clearly seeing something that Lavellan cannot, Solas says, “I apologize, but it appears that our time here is at an end. If ever there was anyone who could show me the error of my ways, it would be you. Be well, vhenan.”

Solas fades before Lavellan’s eyes, and he bolts upright in his bed, Solas’ parting admission kindling hope that someday he might be able to sway Solas from his destructive path. Lavellan wasn’t sure which of them was the bigger fool.