15 for ari and cullen (fem or not - up to you!!)
I went with fem!cullen because the people voted and that’s what they decided. And it’s far less angsty than I expected it to be?! amazing. Anyways, prompt was “Don’t die on me - please”
Fem!Cullen x Inquisitor, PG
They’re standing off to the side of the gate with their backs flat against the wall, waiting for the guards to change so that they can barge in. They still have a few minutes before they go barging into Samson’s strong hold, and she can feel the nervous tension coming off of Cullen in waves. Ariadne looks away from the gate, planning to tell Cullen to stop, but the words catch in her throat when she sees her. She’s backlit, the sun making her hair gleam like gold. Ari had braided it herself the night before, taking the time to make sure that the braids ran tight against the side of Cullen’s head to keep it out of her face. Her muscles are tense, and every time Cullen shifts from foot to foot her braids shift with her, brushing over her pauldrons. For a second it seems like time slows, and their eyes meet-
And they get the signal and the moment is over. Cullen grins at her before barging through the gate after Cassandra. Ari hangs back with Dorian, splitting the sky open with lightning and watching as it immobilises several red templars, who are finished off by Cullen and Cassandra’s blades shortly thereafter. There’s much more than the reports had said, and they’re spilling out of the Shrine in horrible red waves. But they can handle it, and the courtyard lights up with another round of lightning. Dorian’s laughter is infectious, and Ari grins before fade stepping into the fray, freezing one of the red monstrosities as she steps through them. She’s turning, spirit blade in hand, before she’s even finished materialising, and when she’s fully back her sword meets the templars neck and slices clean through it.
Ariadne winks at Cullen, who has just knocked another templar to the ground, before vanishing and reappearing on the other side of the courtyard. The battle drags on, and Ari keeps getting glimpses of her companions; of Cole appearing just in time to pull his knives out of an enemies neck, of Cassandra bashing her shield into a templar’s face, of Cullen, haloed in gold hair and lightning as she blocks a blow.
But then they’re at the door of the Shrine, staring at the behemoth that is stumbling towards them on massive, shaky legs, framed by flames and towering red lyrium crystals. She doesn’t have time to feel horror, just brings her staff down on the floor so hard that the tiles crack and then heads straight into the fray, fighting through fire and trying not to listen to the whispering lyrium.
They’re too late to save Maddox, and then they’re rushing through a burning building in an attempt to gather the information Dagna needs. Cole finds the last page just as a section of the ceiling collapses, crushing a red lyrium crystal and sending the dust into the air. Cullen stumbles, choking on it, as the floor begins to shake. Her eyes are unfocused when Ariadne reaches her, pulling her up and dragging her forwards.
“No no no,” she whispers, flinging one of Cullen’s arms over her shoulders and trying not to choke on the smoke and the dust herself, ignoring the voices she hears in the flames. They’re telling her to give up, that she and her friends are going to be buried under fire and stone. Her fears are echoed back and her, but she grits her teeth as she fights against Cullen, who is struggling against her.
“Don’t die on me,” Ariadne begs as Cullen tries to push her away and head back towards the fire. “Please, Cullen. Don’t listen to it, it’s lying.”
Cassandra appears on her other side and together they manage to drag the heavily armoured Commander out of the collapsing Shrine and into the open, away from the lyrium. It isn’t until they reach the gate that Ari stops hearing the whispers from the flames, but even then she doesn’t let up her grip on Cullen’s arm until they’re far away from the Shrine and it’s whispering stones.
That night Ariadne lays awake as Cullen sleeps beside her, trying to replace all memories of Cullen wreathed in flame with memories of the way her lightning lit her up like a star.