34, 44, 54, 170, 180, 182 for Mitch/Astaarit (you can pick any combination, i don't care honestly) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Thank you so much for the prompt!! (There’s a smut prompt on its way…)
- “I’m going to keep you safe”
Astaarit awoke to a sharp hiss of pain and sudden movement, jerking the sheet that was over her. She jolted into a sitting position, hand scrabbling under her pillow and coming up empty of the dagger that should’ve been there. She clawed her heart out of her throat, banishing the belligerent plans of defence that sprung into her mind; she wasn’t being attacked, nor had she been kidnapped. The viddathari forced herself to relax her muscles – she was in Mitch’s tent. The clothes strewn haphazardly, the distinct forest-like musk
“Sorry.” Mitch’s voice filled the thin mountain air, thick with lethargy and something Astaarit wasn’t sure of. “Didn’t mean to wake you, love.”
The habit of calling someone “love” was not an uncommon one, Astaarit knew, amongst Fereldens, but it was still…strange to experience it first-hand. She peered down at him where he lay, tracing the borders between the dawn’s soft light and shadows dancing on his features, battling for dominance with the slightest movement. One hand was clasped over his eyes, pinching his temples. She shifted onto her side, closer, and he pried his fingers away some and revealed that he was squinting. Even in the dark, they shone, aureate – how couldn’t she have known there was more to him? The thought wasn’t the first of its kind to arise in recent memory.
“It is of no consequence,” she murmured, finding the urge to smile tugging at one corner of her lips. Astaarit furrowed her brow, searching for her answer as she asked the question. “What’s wrong?”
He fell silent and avoided her gaze, swallowing – Astaarit suspected his mouth had gone dry. “The, erm…in my head, you know? Sometimes it’s a bit much. Can’t explain it properly if I tried, sorry.”
“You must stop apologising, Mitch. But, is there anything I can do?” she said and took his hand, removing it from his face and smoothing circles into its back. “All you have to do is ask.”
Mitch’s expression lightened as he snorted, humour lifting the semblance of a grimace that had settled there before. Astaarit tensed for a second when he reached up and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, but if Mitch had picked up on it, he didn’t show it. She relaxed once she recognised the familiarity of his fingers on her skin as he cupped her cheek.
“I know, Asta. I…I know. Huh…that’s weird.”
“That I care? Why thank you.”
“What- no! Maker, I mean that I don’t really know how this goes? The whole ‘let me take care of you’ thing; never gotten that from the people I’ve known before. I’m not making much sense, am I? Head’s all…cottony.”
Astaarit tutted, admiring how animated he could remain, despite the bags under his eyes and the untamed mop of his hair. She tilted her forehead and was pleased when Mitch followed suit, breathing in unison.
“I just want to know what’s going on in your head, what’s hurting you.”
“Wouldn’t want that for you, love – not for anyone. They say some, uh…unsavoury things.” He chuckled, in spite of himself. “Not that I’m saying you can’t handle mean comments – I’m just a delicate flower, me.”
“You’re right about that, but if I could lift that weight off your shoulders, you know that I would, right?”
“Asta, I don’t want- “
“No. I would. Without a doubt, I would do what I could to relieve you of this hurt. And I will, Mitchell, I will.”
The Ferelden blinked at her, lips twisting. One of his arm curled around her, pulling her close, prompting Astaarit doing the same to him. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, lips lingering, leaving a warm flush on her skin in his wake. Astaarit’s face burned, but it wasn’t with the flames of fury, or the heat of battle. Her heart clenched as she considered what it could be, unsure of what she wanted it to be, as she turned her back to him, pulling his arms tightly around her.
“I’m going to keep you safe,” she whispered and heard him exhale. “This will not take you from me, kadan.”
Kadan. Her eyes widened as she realised what she had said, but the steady rhythm of Mitch’s breathing, the lack of a response – he was asleep. He hadn’t heard her. Panic spluttered out of existence, but her mind wandered: what if he hadn’t been? She settled into a relatively calm state, but her mind explored the possibilities far too fervently to allow sleep to return easily.
I should let him in.