A request by elgar-nan who wanted some Solavellan plus mabari. It was a nice change of pace, and I enjoyed writing it. Thankyou for the prompt!
Solas stands at the top of the staircase overlooking the courtyard below. He watches the activity with his arms folded and his lips pursed. A little over a dozen young mabari are roving the area, inspecting the smattering of troops who are presenting themselves to the beasts in hopes of bonding with them. Halfway down the staircase on his right, stands the Hound Master. He is a burly fellow, with thick scarred arms and a stoic face. At his side sits the proud beast who had whelped Skyhold’s first litter of mabari pups. She is just as barrel-chested as the man she follows, and bears dozens of war scars herself. They suit one another.
Solas is stirred from his thoughts when he feels a light touch on his shoulder.
“Thinking about giving it a go?” Lavellan asks as they take a space at Solas’s side. Their hand slides down his shoulder and loops around his arm. He glances at them, and then looks down at the soldiers below.
“I do not see the appeal,” he says disapprovingly. Lavellan raises a brow,
“You don’t approve? Why?” they ask. Solas’s frown deepens. He had been examining the answer to that exact query prior to Lavellan’s approach.
“Mabari are… unique. They bear intelligence and carry emotion more than most animals. I suppose I resent the irony that those traits are used as grounds to collar them, and bend them to the will of another,” he says after a moment of thought. Lavellan considers his words carefully, and then gives his arm a squeeze.
“You are so busy thinking, that you miss what is right in front of you,” they say, and gesture down at the courtyard. Below, one of the mabari hounds examines a prospective handler, and then turns away with a disdainful huff. “They aren’t slaves to our will. They are companions,” Lavellan kisses Solas on the cheek. “They are no more bound to their handlers, than you are bound to me. They follow because they find someone worth following.” And then Lavellan slips away from Solas and descends the stairway to the courtyard.