You change everything.
Tears threatened to gloss over her eyes but she fought to hold them back, the cold biting wind of NYC in the wintertime drying her lips, throat, and eyes. She steadied herself by placing her back against the wall of the rooftop, looking to him with a mixture of shock and heat. “H-how?”
He chuckled and shook his head, coming directly to her side and placing his hands on the edge of the rail. His arm brushed against hers and remained there, her gaze falling to the point of contact while he spoke. “Never I have met someone with a spirit like yours. It burns within the Fade, attracting spirits and demons of all kind but you have the strength to return demons to their original purpose. You, who have been thrown into this world by forces unknown, put through unthinkable tragedy, and yet you still have hope.”
His words swirled within her mind and it only made her more confused. He was complimenting her, but she wasn't in the right state of mind to accept it. He was being this sincere with her? Her, who he had been so hot and cold with since day one? Before she could even catch herself, she found herself responding with a tone that was borderline defeated. “You say all these things. . . even though I’m not. . . “
Solas winced as if she had wounded him, tightening his grip on the rail with a hardened stare. “I find comfort within my own people, yes, but. . . also with you.” The tears finally formed in the corners of her eyes as she looked over towards him, her hands wrapping around the rail that was pushing into her back. He looked to the side and caught her gaze, the expression softening as they sat in heavy silence for a moment. There was a longing within his gaze that she was sure she matched. Now her pulse was racing and she could feel his aura, unrestricted, gliding over her skin and licking like a flame against her own heated presence. Their energy mingling drove her wild. He closed his eyes and sighed, his jaw clenched. She didn’t know what was going through his mind, but this was a moment she could not let slip.
Summoning every ounce of bravery within her stomach, she brought a hand to his chin, leaning her body over to place her lips against his cheek. His eyes shot open and his breath came in a sharp gasp. The reaction caused her to draw back and she instantly cursed herself for reading the wrong signals. She retracted her hand that was on his cheek and quickly tucked a strand of hair that was blown astray behind her ear. Her cheeks flushed hot and she was about to dismiss the whole situation when she caught a familiar and devilish look in her peripheral vision.
He shook his head with a smile, catching her gaze before moving his body in front of hers. He gripped her arms and brought her close, capturing her lips with his. She gasped against his mouth, her own hands gripping his shoulders as he brought her closer against his body. The smell of him, the feeling of his body so close to hers, it defeated her and brought a sigh of relief from her lips. He drank the sound in with his kiss, bringing her bottom lip into his mouth and running his tongue along the edge. With that motion his magic filled her, it coursing in time with what she assumed was his heartbeat. It was fast, nervous, like hers, but the feeling of his aura rubbing inside of her like it was an animal, bringing a guttural sound from her throat that resembled a moan.
He answered in kind, tightening his grip on her arms while deepening the kiss. She opened herself to him, feeling his tongue slide along hers to explore her mouth. The tightness within her belly spread to her thighs, even more so as he pressed his body up against hers and pinned her against the wall behind her. It had been so long that she had felt romantic touch she thought she would be undone. Every nerve in her body was tingling, her knees weak, and her head swimming and helpless to his touch. She moved her hands from his shoulders to the base of his head, pulling him in while stroking his cheekbones with her thumbs. She could feel him smile through the kiss, and it brought another uncontrollable sound of pleasure from her lips knowing that he was enjoying it as much as her.
He pulled back from her and she moved her hands to his chest, grabbing onto the front of his tunic for purchase. The strings of his wolf jaw necklace were caught up in it and she felt the article brush against her chest which sent a shudder into her legs. He chuckled and brought her chin up to kiss her one last time, the caress of his lips so gentle against hers she nearly sagged her body into his grip. Athena rested her head on his chest, and for the moment they took in each other’s ragged breaths. She could hear his heart pounding within his rib cage, it calling out to her like a drum of the wild. She smiled, nuzzling her cheek into his scent like one of her wolves greeting her in the morning.
Do you hear my heart saying hi?
“We shouldn’t. . . “
Even with his refusal she could feel his magic pressing into her, curling up within her body as if it were seeking residence there. It wasn’t something she had done before but it felt natural, letting her guard down and allowing her aura to slide along his like their tongues were doing only moments before. He groaned and pulled her closer to him, pressing his lips against her forehead while breathing in her scent. “Athena. . ." Her name on his lips brought a wicked smile to her own. “It isn’t right, not even here.” She winced against his chest and sighed, knowing with a pit of dread in his stomach that this part was coming. He had to think things through, make sure that he was ready to commit to her.
If only for a short time.
The thought of this ending caused her to move her hands from his chest to his back. He sighed against her while she whispered against his clothing. “The only difference between here and there is nobody can see us here.” I will still awake in my bed with your body fresh on my mind and your taste on my lips.
He nodded and brought her closer in what felt like a final embrace for the evening, pressing his lips against the top of her head. “It is not often I find another dreamer like myself. You are so aware of your presence in the Fade. . ." He pulled back from her and the air bit like a chill between them. In response, she crossed her arms over her abdomen to try and contain some of the heat he left behind.
“What is right and wrong is between us, but we can speak of this in the morning.” Athena wanted to be the one to end the conversation, leave him with a feeling of tension in his belly instead of the other way around like it was in the game. She withdrew her magic from his body and used it to pull herself from the Fade. As the dream was disappearing from her mind, she placed a hand on his chest and said: “Now, it is time for us to wake up, Solas.”
And with a groan of frustration Athena rose from her bed in Skyhold, looking side to side and seeing that Josephine was quite speedy in getting some basic furnishings of the companions of the Inquisitor before finer luxuries arrived. If it was already morning that mean that Rathein would be leaving for the Fallow Mire, and Solas along with her. Kain slept loyally at the end of her bed, his head facing the door to take on any intruders that would try to enter her domain. She rose from the bed and felt a chill shoot up her legs and the cold stone floor. Her brown eyed gaze traveled across the room until she saw a pile of clothes with a note on top.
We’re about the same size and you need something better to wear than leftovers. Sorry we burned your bear cloak. We’ll whip you up something else. -Rathein.
Athena lifted the blue button up shirt up in the air and smirked, slowly sliding it up on her arms and buttoning up the front. It fit quite well, surprisingly enough. She then pulled on the white pants and laced up her boots, which had apparently been cleaned while she had been sleeping. Kain must have been snoozing too if somebody could sneak in and out of her room with ease. A hand mirror was hidden underneath the clothes and she used the opportunity to run her fingers through her wavy locks and sort out the morning frizz.
As she was wiping away the morning grime her fingers brushed over her lips and it gave her pause. The memories of the night before came flooding back and a pleasant laugh escaped her. It was probably a good thing Solas was going to the swamp. It would give him time to think and it would give her time to consult with Wisdom and make sure that this was even the best decision for her. It was heartbreaking enough playing a Lavellan character and watching them go through the ordeal. If she invested in this, it would have to be different.
Before leaving her room, she scrambled through her bag until she found a small piece of parchment and a quill. She jotted down a few notes for Rathein and her companions for when they went into the Fallow Mire. No water. Wisps. Kill terrors first, corpses later. Avvar’s son is an ass. She opened the door and quickly skipped down the stairs of the battlements, arriving at the gate where the party was starting to pack up before their venture. The Herald smiled and raised her hand for a high five, Athena happily returning it. Rathein’s hand followed forward and clapped her on the back. “I see you saw the note. You must have been really tired from the journey because the wind slamming the door didn’t wake you.” Solas cracked a smile from the side of his horse, his hands tightening the straps of the saddle while he adjusted his bag.
She flicked her gaze over to his and smirked in return, shifting the weight in her hips while looking back to her friend. “I suppose I was. Oh, here are some of the notes for you. I hope they help.”
Athena brought out the piece of parchment and handed it to the Herald who instantly put it into her bag for later. “Dorian said to meet him near the barn when you wake up. I’ve tasked him to helping you train since you both like to play with fire and you seem. . . close.” The future Inquisitor looked over her shoulder with a wink which made her truly laugh, a faux blush coming to her lips.
“Oh how did you know, Rathein? We’ll have eloped by the time you return. It will be the scandal of the century.”
Her friend pulled her into a quick hug while shaking her head back and forth. “Behave. We’ll be back soon.” She then dismissed her with a pat on the shoulder so Athena made her way over to Solas, her pulse rising within her chest and a lump of nerves forming in her throat. He seemed to be nibbling on something but it wasn’t his normal light breakfast.
Lightly colored crumbs fell to the ground and she arched a brow while leaning against his horse, who paid her no mind. “Now now, Solas. You’ll spoil your breakfast.”
He glanced over and smirked at her, packing the rest of the Orlesian treat away into his bag. “Your spell was effective in preserving its taste. You have my gratitude.” She nodded in response while trying not to hold his gaze for too long. The small glances were already forming a blush across her chest and she didn’t want it creeping up into her face before she went and spoke to Dorian. “Sleep well?” His voice was lined with a wicked tone and she almost smacked him in response. Her hands twitched within her pockets and she gave him a mock frown, putting the full of her back against his horse while shutting her eyes.
“You know when you just get torn from a really good dream?”
He chuckled under his breath, shooting a glance over his shoulder before stepping closer to her and speaking under his breath, the sound of which re-lit the flame in the base of her belly. “It . . . has been a long time. Things have always been easier for me in the Fade.”
Athena opened one eye at him and smirked, instantly jabbing back at him. “You didn’t seem rusty to me, Hahren.” The boldness of her words brought a blush to his cheeks while he placed his hands on opposite sides of the saddle. It was very reminiscent of the position they were in within the Fade before he started kissing her, she shut her eyes again and took in a deep breath of the mountain air since she was nowhere near a cold shower to douse herself in.
“I am not certain this is the best idea. It could lead to trouble.”
Athena fought the mischievous grin that so desperately wanted to come to her lips. Instead she nodded while looking to him and relaxing her arms by her side. “Perhaps it is best you are being called to the Mire. I do not want to pressure you into anything and I know there are considerations we both need to think through.”
He hummed in agreement, skillfully lifting himself onto the side of his horse while looking down at her with a smile. “Well. . .you know where to find me if you require my assistance.” She noticed the sudden change in his tone to something more formal and she changed as well, returning to the formality of the Inquisition and its duties.
“Yes, ride well. I will see you when you return.” She pressed her hand to the horse and silently thanked him for not freaking out when she was pressed against his side. The horse responded with a grunt with an added flick of his tail. The group took off and she tore her gaze from them so she wouldn’t be stuck staring at the elf like a love-struck teenager and then made her way to Dorian.