Written for Stories of Thedas Volume II
Pairing: NB!Lavellan x Solas
In the aftermath of Wisdom’s passing Solas takes the first steps towards moving on from its death, though this time he need not do it alone.
Trigger warning for suicidal ideation and depression / derealisation.
Read on AO3.
Light strains through the open window, highlighting the dust suspended in the air by the morning breeze. With each sigh of wind from the mountains’ peaks it rises anew, kept aloft in perpetuity each time it begins to sink to the bedroom floor. Solas watches from his back as the light that flows through open windows grows longer, reluctant to acknowledge the fast-approaching noon and all the duty that comes with it.
He does not truly know how long he lies there, looking idly up at the ceiling, neither dreaming nor truly awake. From a distance he recognises the sound of Mother Giselle calling to a Chantry Sister and sees the shadow of a passer-by darken the window momentarily, but these notes are brief and fleeting, skirting over his consciousness without room to take root. The doorknob turns, latch unhooking with a click, force of habit compelling him to look. His eyes meet Ian’s as the door swings ajar, and he suddenly wishes he had at least sat up before he’d entered. “You’re awake,” Ian says. Relief quiets the tension he held between his brow, a look too soft to be meant for him steals across his face as he settles beside him, the mattress sinking with a sigh beneath his weight. “I was afraid- I- I was—” As he fumbles with his words he struggles with removing a leather glove from his left hand, finding the thought only when the last finger was wrested from him. “I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Good.” His bare hand leans upon Solas’ cheek, touch cool and calming against his face.
“What time is it?”
“You’re needed nowhere for the moment,” Ian answers the more honest question on his behalf. “I just needed— I wanted to see if you were alright.”
It is an answer Solas isn’t certain he can give neither one way nor the other. He is of sound body and sound mind, and for many those two alone would be enough to suffice. “Thank you,” Solas mutters, having little to offer but his gratitude and an affectionate peck to his palm. Perhaps sensing the answer Solas is reluctant to give, Ian’s smile pinches, straining with concern. Guilt twinges in his gut, and he averts his eyes, penitent. “Ir abelas, Vhenan. I did not mean to worry you again.”
A soft laugh sighs through Ian’s lips, though it sounds sad to his ears. “You don’t need to be sorry, Solas. Not unless it helps.” He recognises the refrain as one oft-repeated to Ian, spoken in his own voice when Ian’s troubles wind too tightly around his heart. To hear it said to assuage his sorrows stings, no matter how much he may need to hear it. The hand at his cheek guides his gaze up, his hollow stare feeling all the more empty when beheld in Ian’s kind eyes. They scan from left to right, reading the expression on his face as though he’d opened up a well-loved book. A thumb scarred by gardener’s shears draws a smooth line across his cheekbone.
Ian’s hand glides around the side of his head, meeting resistance as his fingers cup the back delicately. “Your hair…” he says with a laugh in his breath, a hint of wonder colours his tone leaves Solas humbled. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much of it before.” Fingertips idle along the nape of his neck, moving across the rough beginnings of an auburn hairline, but for Solas’ part his eyes remain transfixed upon Ian’s face. He memorises the way amusement works its way across his lips, until his teeth press down upon them, trying and failing to tamp down his growing grin. Hazel eyes fall suddenly to his and then away, pink shame heating his cheeks. “Sorry.”
Solas rises, detouring to brush his lips against Ian’s, which still bear the impression of his teeth. “You’ve no more to be sorry for than I,” he says, then as an afterthought grazes his hand over his head. A fine layer of hair has sprouted, coarse, like sharkskin against his palm. “And you are correct, it is long past time I shaved.”
“Oh, you— you’re… I thought-”
“That I intended to grow it out?” he finishes Ian’s thought, picking it up where he had dropped it. “No, and I suspect I won’t for some time.” He slides open the top drawer of his dresser and rifles through, not looking but feeling for his razor. Fingers brush against brittle dried herbs and crumpled notes too important to throw away yet irrelevant enough that he does not remember why they are here, rooting through the ephemera of his everyday life before they find what they seek.
“Typically my magic minimises the upkeep, but then…” He thinks back upon the last few weeks, how time bled together and one moment tripped into the next. Hardly a thimbleful of effort had been expended upon the simple day-to-days. “I suppose I have had other matters on my mind.”
Wisdom’s death still weighs heavily upon him. Though he had told the Inquisitor the powers which willed it into being still exist and there may again be a being who called itself Wisdom, it is a cold comfort. The moments they shared are now his alone to remember. In his grief he strains to recall every memory, summoning details of bygone ages, despair curling one cold finger around his heart as their edges begin to blur. Guilt bores into him as he tries to remember what face Wisdom wore the first time they met.