The Fade was empty but already she could feel his call. It sent goosebumps along her skin but there was something she needed to do first before seeing him and unfortunately for now it would be another secret between them. Athena reached down within her chest at one of the spiritual blessings and called out for Command. The spirit almost instantly appeared, crossing her armored arms over her chest with a scoff. “Now you wish to speak to me?”
She turned with a steeled gaze, nodding while meeting eyes with the spirit. “You say you can part the skies if you wish it be done?”
The spirit smiled. “Of course. I am Command. The Fade obeys what it will allow.”
She didn’t hesitate, stepping forward towards her with hope and determination in her voice. “Could you command a spirit back into existence if they were lost? It is said a spirit can return if it impacted enough people. Using Harmony, Inspiration, and I. . . could you do it?”
The spirit sneered, dropping her hands to her sides with a feral sound coming from her throat. “You dare question my abilities?”
“Could. You. Do. It.” Athena challenged, taking another step forward and almost meeting the spirit chest to chest. Command looked her up and down before nodding slowly. “I could try. It will take some time to gather the strength needed to do it. This will not be a task I do for free, child.”
She finally relaxed and nodded. “I expected as much. What is your price? I will pay it.”
The spirit smiled while snapping her fingers together. Her body began to dissipate into the Fade but her voice still echoed around her. “This is something I will need to think of because you are asking for quite a large favor, Fade-Walker. I will call for you when I think of such a price.”
Athena put her fist over her heart in a gesture of respect towards the spirit, even though she reminded her eerily of Vivienne. Solas’s presence called to her again, causing her to close her eyes and roll her shoulders as the sensation ran down her spine. She turned and allowed the Fade to turn around her, walking down the path she had previously walked the day before only to run into a barrier. This time, there was none. He stood waiting in a lush glen underneath a large tree to provide them shade. When she arrived, he summoned a bench with a wave of his hand and she took note of the ornate design, green wrought iron swirling up from the ground to form the main shape.
She walked up to his side without hesitation and took his hand within hers, looking at the place where she assumed Wisdom normally resided. He took her hand wordlessly, his eyes glued to a fixed place in the glen. They sat in the silence for a moment before Athena leaned towards him, resting her head on his shoulder and squeezing his hand in hers. “Were you able to find some peace while you were away?”
He nodded. “I found a safe place to sleep and visited here, where I used to be able to find our friend.”
Our friend. The little change in his words still made her heart feel warm. She wanted to soothe his worries, say things like ‘She will come back again’ but that wasn’t a definite promise. It would be the first time she had even attempted such a thing but she had hope that between her and her three spirit allies they would be able to perform such a task. “The pain will fade. You do not need to endure alone, Solas.”
“I know; I’m sorry. As I have said before it has –“
“Been a while. You stubborn, stubborn man.” She squeezed his hand and stepped in front of him face to face, bringing his other hand into her own so she could hold them both. “Why must you think to do everything alone?” Secretly, she knew the answer. He was the last of his kind, the last of the evanuris that walked this world so many times ago. It was by his hand that the elven people fell into oblivion as an unintended side effect of locking away the feuding Gods.
He broke his sad demeanor and chuckled, looking down at her with caring eyes, slowly releasing his hands from hers to rest them on the small of her back while pulling her close. “It is how it has always been done.”
She shook her head and wrapped her arms around him, her gaze still locked with hers. “Not anymore, Solas.” Athena reached up on her toes and touched the tip of her nose to his with a soft smile on her face. “I’ve considered the things that needed to be considered. If that is the same with you. . . ?” She moved her hands up his back until they were resting around his neck, bringing their foreheads to rest against one another’s.
“I believe I have, Athena.”
He smiled, moving one hand up her back until his fingers were in his hair, pulling her forward into a light brush of lips that brought a smile to her face. He brought her bottom lip in between his teeth and she groaned in surprise, scratching her nails lightly on his back. It then dawned on her that they were essentially standing on Wisdom’s grave. It was the former place where he had been mourning the loss of a friend and Athena stilled, pulling back from the kiss with a sound of discontent. Solas paused as well, looking down to her with an arched brow.
“Er- Not here?”
He then looked around to where they were and smirked, nodding in agreement. “Ah. I see.”
He nodded and kissed her cheek, trailing soft kisses down her jawline and into the nape of her neck. Athena playfully glared at him, feeling his magic trickle along her skin. She needed to take him somewhere far away from the thought of grieving. The first time she had showed him something awe-inducing in her world, she took him up. This time, they would be looking down. She fixated on a memory and pushed it outwards into the Fade. Colors of orange, purple, and brown swirled until her back was pressed against the metal railing keeping her from falling down a large large canyon.
There was an almost smug smile on her face when he brought her closer in a gesture of being protective to keep her from falling, his eyes trying to take in the large scenic view below them. He kept one arm around her back while putting the other on the rail, looking over her shoulder down into the canyon below. “This is breath-taking.”
She decided to be petty and tease him in return, giving him light kisses on the cloth of his shirt near his wolf-jaw necklace. While he was enamored by the Grand Canyon, she moved up to his shoulder then moved her hot, breathy kisses up his neck to his ear. His lips twitched into a wicked smirk but he was still fascinated with the landscape, his nails digging into the small of her back in response. Athena flicked her tongue out onto the lobe of his ear, her hands clawing into his shoulder and the base of his neck to bring him down and closer to her. Their height difference wasn’t that severe but she noticed he was always standing with such a tall posture; she guessed it was where their race difference showed. As she kissed and lightly brought the skin on his neck in between her teeth, he playfully groaned out a sound of frustration, arching his neck out of her reach before cupping her face with one hand.
The look in his eyes, the genuine smile on his face nearly melted her. Her heart was already pounding against the restraints of her ribcage, her breath nearly absent from the pure shock of finally being with him. There were small things that didn’t line up to what she knew. They had just decided to be romantic with one another and there was no Ar lath ma. The thought of which brought a tightness between her legs and into the lower bases of her belly. Would they ever get to that point? Maker she hoped so. Rathein and Dorian had been her family since she had been there. They hugged and joked with her, but they didn’t warm her bed at night. Kain snuggled with her occasionally but when she woke it only emphasized that there was nobody there besides her.
Perhaps she was being ungrateful, but with Solas in her arms everything else just smaller. He stroked her cheek and chuckled, eyes glancing back to the canyon. “What is this place, Athena?”
She sighed in happiness. Hearing her name on his lips still felt foreign, unreal to her. “It is one of the wonders of my world. We called it the Grand Canyon, original I know. Our scholars used it to track the planet’s history back thousands of years. It goes on for miles, outwards and downwards.” His eyes occasionally flicked to the view behind him but while she explained it and gestured to the sides his gaze never left her face. She could feel the heat of embarrassment and lust climbing her neck and at the end of her explanation she slowly trailed her eyes back to him. There was a hungry look in his eyes, the deep of his blues threatening to devour her as he traced her jawline with a finger.
“And. . . I’ve lost my words.” Her breath was raspy, barely audible as he closed in on her, the single finger on her cheek bringing her chin upwards so he could take her lips again. This time the hunger translated into his actions. He moved his hands into her hair, pulling on it slightly while his magic opened unbridled into her body. A cold wave plunged into her, drawing a shocked cry that was muffled against his mouth. Her hands gripped onto his chest but he pushed her body against the railing, using the cry to slide his tongue along hers and deepen the kiss. His magic came in pulses, thrusts almost, against the inside of her body. In the fade, they were so much stronger than in the physical world. He always said things were easier in the fade and now she understood why.
Every touch, every kiss, every movement was electrified. He was confident here, walls down and willing to show how he really felt. In the physical world, he was the reserved expert on the Fade. The scholar. Here the true wolf showed and she craved it. Her hands roamed his body, feeling the muscles of his arms and back. She had to wonder if their bodies were altered in the fade, if they appeared how they wanted to look or how they truly were. She could feel his muscles and the tone that came from swinging a staff around hours at a time. The hand that Solas had in her hair moved down to the back of her neck, feeling, clawing its way to the middle of her back, moving to her side.
She could predict its path, her heart racing and skin alighting in a near flame of her aura. It clashed against the pure opposition of her element, and it made the sensation that much more addictive. Her back arched over the rail behind her and he took advantage of that movement, sliding his hand over her shirt and over her breast. The soft action against the very top of her skin made her cry out, gripping his shirt for purchase. That reaction drew a growl against her lips as he bit against her bottom lip and palmed her breast in slow, gentle movements that were unison with his thrusts of his magic. The combinations made her arch against him still, bringing the leg opposite his hand up and behind him to bring him closer to her.
He gripped her thigh and brought her flesh with him to the point where she could grind against his hips, a soft whine coming from her lips. Her mind was white; it was difficult to hold onto the memory of the landmark behind him while he tortured her so. The fade glitched in and out behind them and he smiled against her mouth, using his magic to keep the scene solid while his thumb managed to find the small mound of her nipple underneath her shirt.
She was completely lost and the small touch sent her wild. Her mouth broke from his and she moaned his name, words lost as his lips trailed to her neck and kissed upon the skin that his mouth could capture. “Solas!” She cried, gripping onto whatever purchase she could while he conquered her with magic and touch combined. He hummed into the base of her neck, pausing while tilting his head toward her face. Her breath came in quick pants and her mind was nearly lost to his touch but she moved one hand to the rail behind her, looking for something solid within the heat of the magic of the fade.
“Hm?” He moaned into her neck, using his hand to curve around her hip in its travel south. Athena gasped and used her leg to pull him forward, bringing a hand to his chin to bring his gaze upwards to hers.
“This is something . . .I would like to experience in person. Dreams are one thing. . . “ He kissed upon her cheeks and she groaned, bringing her leg down even with his sound of protest. “But it’s real when its skin on skin. You could trap me here forever and I would be a content woman but. . . “
He smiled and sighed against her, trying to keep her thigh elevated so he could press himself against the middle of her legs with a wicked smile. “If you say, Athena.” The image of the canyon stayed strong behind them so she stood straight up, brushing her chest against his with a smirk before turning her back to him and looking at the landscape. He wrapped his arms around her, resting his head on her shoulder from behind. They spent the next few minutes looking things over. Athena smiled, resting her arms on top of his in a moment of pure bliss.
“I guess we should wake up now. We leave for Halamshiral tomorrow and that is going to be exhausting.”
Solas smiled. “I have always enjoyed the heavy blend of power, intrigue, danger, and sex at those kinds of events.” At the word sex, he pressed himself more against her back and she groaned, arching her back to push back against him.
“You may like it. You are going to be doing the fun stuff. I have to play nice and dance with the nobles.”
“You give yourself no credit. You will bewitch them all, Athena.”
She smirked, giving his arms a final squeeze before allowing the image of the canyon to dissipate in the air. With a deep breath, she rolled her mind back into her body and opened her eyes in the physical world. At some point in the night they had adjusted and moved to where she was lying on her side and he was spooned behind her, his arm underneath her head to support it with his other hand curled around him. Athena smiled, nuzzling her cheek into his arm and pressing herself against his body in an attempt to memorize how it felt for him to be there. There was a stirring behind her and she felt his arm around her tighten, pulling her closer to him while he pressed his lips against the back of her neck.
“On dhea, Athena.”