Well, if you know anything about me you know I have a bad habit of writing stuff and then just sitting on it like a giant protective and sarcastic bird. I wrote this back in.. seriously, July? Ok, I’m pushing it out of the nest, finally.
Cullen x Inquisitor - very early, pre-relationship, pre-Skyhold
Cullen emerged from his tent, muscles sore and
barking their protests. Another night of sweat and panic had swept his
energy, his mood, and his health from his grasp. He stood in the
purple twilight of morning, rubbing his tired eyes to chase away the
sleep that whispered so sweet in his ears. He knew better than to fall
for that saccharine song. It would only hold more torment and terror.
It was better to begin his day and find things to occupy his mind than
lie in that tiny cot and contemplate. He reached back into the tent and
grabbed the hunk of bread left beside the meal he had poked at last
Even his toes felt tired and cramped as he journeyed away from the little collection of tents outside the city walls. The sun was just beginning to peek its way through the weak canopy of the winter battered trees. Its newly woken rays warmed his chilled flesh, but he wished it could penetrate deeper to where he felt his bones were made of ice, ice that chipped away at his joints and made him feel years beyond his true age.
Only steps away from the camp he stopped, pausing to bask a moment in the growing beams of sunlight that struggled over the horizon. Despite the warmth, his breath puffed into the air and crystallized into little clouds.
He tore off bits of the bread and cast it in a wide net around himself. Within minutes a party of little birds danced around him, hopping and flapping after the crumbs he tossed out. He found himself smiling at their peaceful company. They wanted only this small morsel of food and nothing more from him. In fact, if he moved too quickly or tried to approach them they would wing away, only to return moments later. He savored the simplicity.
The birds reminded him of childhood. They reminded him of Ferelden. And not in that painful stabbing way that remembering his family and his voluntary absence from them caused. These small creatures reminded him of expansive forests, of skinned knees, and of fanciful adventures. Their subtle song brought back warm evening nights and early mornings. He sighed and felt some of the tension from the previous night ebb away.
But eyes were on him. The hair on the back of his neck rose. He froze for a moment. If he jerked his head to try and locate the person watching him the birds would fly away, alerting the stranger. Instead, he maintained that composed, careful observation of his avian company, chancing a casual glance that spoke only of a man enjoying the outdoors on a brisk early morning.