As Nira tries to console herself with everything that has happened over the past few days, she finds herself confronted once again by the demon. She feels as if she is facing this demon alone, but is she?
Things were only getting worse. It felt like every time she helped fix a problem, another problem would make itself known. There was nothing to hold onto and she was spiraling. Falling further and further into a darkness that would never end.
How was she to put the world in order? Nira knew nothing outside of the Dalish. Everything she had accomplished happened by sheer luck and the support of those around her. And she was supposed to be what? The Herald of Andraste? She knew nothing of Andraste or the people that served her. How was she supposed to save them when she knew nothing outside of her people? She wouldn’t even know where to start.
Holding her knees close to her chest, Nira hugged herself as she tried to calm down. It was happening again. The light that surrounded her was slowly being consumed by the darkness. It was coming. Nira buried her face into her arms. She felt herself tense up as she prepared herself for the demon she knew was approaching. It had first appeared after Cassandra began trusting her with more and more responsibility a week prior. When the fear demon realized how much of an impact it had on her, it continued to haunt her.
A sharp shiver ran down her spine as she braced herself.
“You’re still here? I would have thought they had gotten rid of you by now.”
Nira'sal closed her eyes tight, desperately trying to concentrate on anything that wasn’t the demon’s words.
The voice was soft and distant, but its words were sharp and struck her like no other. It wasn’t working. Her fear consumed her, despite how hard she tried to keep it at bay. Summoning the small bit of courage she had left, Nira tightened her grip on her arms. "Leave me alone.“
"Such strong words for such a weak little elf. We both know you aren’t cut out for this. You try to be kind to them, but will they return the favor when they find out who you truly are? An elf that stumbled into something she doesn’t understand. You can never save them. Their hopes have been placed in the wrong hands.”
“I can try. I will always try.” Nira’s voice cracked as she spoke, her words trying to convince not only the demon but herself as well.
The demon chuckled, the sound deep and ominous, chilling her to her very core.
“You can do nothing. You will fail. Why should you even bother?”
Each word was another dagger in her heart. She wanted nothing more than to learn as much as she could about this world, but at the same time…she never asked for any of this. She wasn’t good enough to become Keeper, what made anyone think that she could save them when she couldn’t even save her own clan?
“I…” She raised her head slightly, her eyes focused on the ground. Tears streamed down her cheeks. He was right. They had the wrong person. Nira couldn’t recall what happened the day she stepped out of the rift, yet Cassandra and the others placed all their hopes in her. What would happen if she couldn’t close the rift? What would they say?
“Vara amahn, elgar’daris.” Another voice rang out somewhere far in front of her, a commanding voice that seemed to eat the darkness away bit by bit. Slowly, the area that surrounded her became somewhat familiar. The Fade. It wasn’t real…and yet… Nira raised her hand to her forehead, her body shaking violently as she tried to regain herself.
She couldn’t save this world. She knew that from the beginning. Why couldn’t anyone else see that she was the worst possible choice to save them?
“Nira’sal.” Again the voice called out. Nira looked up to the figure that she could barely make out amongst the darkness. As he got closer, the answer should have been obvious. It was Solas. “Are you alright?” He spoke softly, kneeling down beside her.
“I am. H-how did you find me?” Nira looked up at him, tears threatening to erupt once more. She reached out, gripping his cloak tightly, her body slowly moving closer to him with each passing moment.
Solas watched her with a sad glance. “I was speaking with a friend when I heard your cries. I had no idea that a demon had its hold on you. I apologize. I should have realized it sooner.”
She wasn’t alright. The demon knew what strings to pluck. Knew exactly which buttons to push. Nira felt defeated, alone. She just wanted some sort of comfort. Hot tears stained her cheeks as she pulled herself into Solas. “I just want to get out of here. Take me home.”
A soft sigh escaped from his lips, his arms wrapping around her steadily. “Ma nuven’in, da’len.”
Nira’s eyes opened slowly and immediately began tracing the room. She knew that the demon couldn’t be here, but she had to be sure. She pushed herself up, wiping the tears from her eyes. She was alone, but at least she was back in Haven and away from that demon.
She exhaled softly. She was so weak. If Solas hadn’t have come when he did, there’s no telling what would have happened.
She heard a small tap on the door as it opened. “Nira’sal?” Solas looked over at her with a soft smile and slowly made his way over to her. “Are you well?” He asked, sitting beside her on the bed.
“Well enough…I guess…” Nira forced a smile on her face. They were quiet for a few moments. She didn’t mean for anyone to see her like that. Scared and alone, laid bare for him to see.
“How long has that demon been tormenting you?”
“Not very long….I’m so sorry, Solas. I never meant…”
A smile crossed his features. “You have no reason to apologize. Everyone faces their own demons. It is nature of things. Unfortunately, for mages, demons seem far more real and pose a much deeper threat.” He paused for a moment. “I had noticed that at times you seemed to carry a much heavier burden than the others. I would have helped you had I known. In the future, I would like for you to come to me.”
“I wasn’t really planning on telling anyone. All of this…” Nira looked around the room, her right hand gripping her arm. “…It’s just all too much. I didn’t want to let them down.” Everything the demon said was true. She was just a sheltered, naive little elf. She had no idea where to even begin to seal the Breach.
Hesitantly, Solas reached over and placed his hand next to hers. “I know, but they trust you. They believe in you. It will take time, but you will become the hero they require.” He pushed himself to his feet, nodding slightly. “Heroes are not born overnight, da’len, it will take time. Now, try to get some rest. We head out for Redcliffe tomorrow and you will need your strength.”
Nira reached out for him, grabbing a bit of his jacket before he moved too far away. Solas looked back at her, surprised by her sudden action. “Wait…Will you stay with me? At least until I fall asleep? If the demon comes back, I…”
He watched her silently, but nodded, worry creased into his features as he sat back on the bed. “Of course.”
Nira scooted back under the blanket, exhaling softly as she tried to make herself comfortable. At least, as comfortable as she could…she still couldn’t get used to this shemlen style of living. She was going to have to push herself through her discomfort. Maybe with Solas here she could actually get enough sleep for the first time since she arrived in Haven.
She watched him for a moment, waiting for him to move in next to her. When he did not, she pouted.
Nira grabbed Solas’ sleeve once more, tugging him towards her. She scrunched her face up as she looked over at him, in hopes that he would understand what she wanted. After a moment, Solas nodded begrudgingly, slipping himself in easily next to her in the bed. Immediately Nira snuggled into his chest. Finally, she felt safe. She wasn’t alone and now? She had someone she could go to when it came to the demon. Solas knew everything about spirits. Maybe he really could help her.
Solas wrapped his arms around her, pulling her even closer. “Tel gela, I will be here.” Nira smiled and slowly drifted off to sleep, protected by Solas’ embrace throughout the night.
Vara amahn, elgar’daris - leave this place, demon
Ma nuven’in, da’len - As you wish, young one
Tel gela - Do not worry
If you like my writing, you can read more of it here!
As repeatedly requested and in honor of Solas Fluff Friday, I finally wrote down my version of Isii and Solas’s first kiss in the Fade. Expect a healthy dose of both in-game and original dialogue.
The air was calm that evening, cool breezes that lacked their usual bite as the pair strolled along the battlements. The mountains here had always been beautiful when bathed in moonlight, yet they appeared even more so now as they framed clear skies, littered with an endless sea of stars. Solas knew this was simply due to sentimentality. Walking alongside her, her arm wrapped loosely around his own – of course the beauty of the world around him would seem more precious than before. Perception shaped reality, even here – a truth few seemed to fully grasp as he did.
His infatuation was growing more and more undeniable with each passing day.
Isii had been peppering him with questions as they walked. She wanted to know more about him and he’d given into her insistence even though he often found it difficult to provide sufficient answers for her inquiries. He could have excused himself sooner, but selfishly he was enjoying this rare moment alone with her. Isii was different, beyond all of his expectations. He still didn’t know what to make of that. Was it the anchor? The newfound deepening in her connection to the Fade? Did the changing of her physical self make her more like what came before, when boundaries were not so starkly set? Perhaps that was it. Perhaps the mark had changed more than he had anticipated.
“You don’t have to be so nervous around me, falon.”
Her voice drew him from his thoughts. Solas gave her a sidelong glance, his brow lifting. “And why do you think I am nervous?”
“You seem really guarded,” she said gently, squeezing his arm. “Shifting your eyes away, only half-answering my questions. This isn’t some interrogation. I just want to get to know you better.”
He lowered his gaze. “My apologies. I am… unaccustomed to anyone showing an interest in me on any sort of personal level.”
“That’s a shame,” she said with a grin. “I think you’re rather fascinating.”
His laughter sounded far more uneasy than he’d intended. He cleared his throat. “Yes. Well. I am sorry if my answers have been unsatisfactory. You want to know about me, my past… and I find it difficult to come up with precisely what I should tell you.”
“Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
“That is the problem, I suppose.”
She chuckled, shaking her head. “I think you’re just not used to being around people. I’d imagine it’s different making friends with spirits.”
“It does certainly alter the context, yes.”
“I guess I’ll just have to be patient.” She slowed as they neared the door that would take them back into Skyhold, lingering for a time as she opened it. “It’s late,” she said hesitantly. “We should both probably get some sleep.” An awkward silence fell. From here, their paths would diverge to their separate rooms and yet she did not seem quite ready to go. “I enjoy spending time with you, Solas. Can we do this again sometime?”
“I would like that, Inquisitor.”
Her lips pursed and she reached forward, startling him as she flicked the end of his nose. He frowned. “I’ve told you not to call me that. I get some big scary title and suddenly no one calls me Isii anymore.”
He tried to resist the urge to smile. “Imagine that.”
Okay so I have a lot of free time on my hands and the inclination to write a lot the last couple of days… THEREFORE, SURPRISE! HAVE ANOTHER CHAPTER ALREADY! ALSO HAVE A HIRO! This is my first time writing Hiro but hopefully I did alright. :D
This one is 100% SFW, no smut at all! XD No worries, I have another fic to post after this that’s porny for you, so you’ll get your NSFW anyway lol.
“You should have heard everyone talk. It was like a gossip grenade exploded all over the walls of the school. Word shrapnel everywhere, man. Seriously, I think there might have been some actual, legit casualties involved. We’re talking bomb-squad level stuff, here.”
“And thanks for that stunning imagery. Really, Hiro. Thanks so very much.”
“Hey, I’m just saying. If you wanted to avoid rampant rumors you probably shouldn’t have fucked the top alpha in our school in the nurse’s office. Literally everyone in the building could scent it. Every single person.”
Once the Falcon 9 rocket carrying JCSAT-14 faded into view following Friday morning’s launch, many members of the media crowded around their laptops waiting for the satellite’s deployment from the Falcon 9.
However, a few of us, myself included, were focused on watching the two representatives from Sky Perfect JSAT Group, the customers on Friday’s launch.
As soon as the spacecraft separated from Falcon 9’s second stage and into its transfer orbit, the two women broke down into tears and started smiling, hands over their mouths, as their satellite flew alone for the first time. Of all the launches I have seen, it was the first time I’ve seen the reaction of the customer, and it was quite invigorating to see their flowing emotions.
The photoset above, captured by one of my colleagues, shows Megumi Asakura and Yoko Watanabe reacting to JCSAT-14′s deployment into Geostationary Transfer Orbit, marking a successful mission. The final two photos are congratulations to SpaceX directed towards their chief Public Affairs officer, located off screen to the left.
Their reactions are something I won’t soon forget; NASA and NRO missions make it easy to have a reaction less response to a successful mission, but to see a customer introduce emotion to a launch really is inspiring.