pt30

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt61

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers. Also note. This is the end.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51, Pt52, Pt53, Pt54,
Pt55, Pt56, Pt57, Pt58, Pt59, Pt60

Solas sent Vir back the way he had a thousand lives before. Then he wove himself into the spell and followed her through time. He opened his eyes and found himself on the path by the frozen river. Cassandra and Varric stared at him expectantly.

“Solas?” Cassandra said trying to capture his attention, she seemed even more irritated than the last time they had been here.

“Apologies, Seeker,” he said. “What were you saying?”

“I asked if you knew where she went,” Cassandra said. “I doubt she would run away out here.”

“You don’t think?” Varric said from behind them. “It’s never too late to start running.”

“The mark may be causing her pain,” Solas said. “I will see if there is something I can do for her.” He turned and walked back up the path.

He found Vir standing near the rubble where the road had been blocked. She faced away from him and though he did not attempt to hide his approach, she did not appear to notice his presence. There was no version of Vir where that appearance would be true. Her shoulders tensed when he drew near. She turned.

“Vhenan?” he said softly.

She gasped, stumbled backwards, and fell. The dagger she had clutched in her hand, slipped from her grasp and clattered to the ground between them. She stared up at him in shock. Her mouth opened but only puffs of breath emerged.

He picked up the dagger and knelt before her. He held the point of it over his heart and offered her the pommel. Her eyes widened in recognition.

She grasped the dagger, shaking and afraid. She pressed the tip of it into his coat as she fought back tears. He held his breath, making no attempt at defense and waited for her judgment.

“Why?” she asked when she was finally able to speak, “Were your people not as happy as you hoped? Did you think you would just try again now that you know?” The anguish in her voice broke his heart.

“No,” he said, “I found a way to save both worlds, but I will not lie, the world I left behind had lost so many. I hoped we could save more if we could try again.”

“That’s the reason,” she said, not bothering to hide her skepticism.

“Not the only reason,” he replied, “the other was selfish.”

She looked surprised for a moment then scrambled to her feet, keeping the dagger in place. He rose slowly neither closing nor retreating. The Breach expanded and the mark flared. She whimpered and clenched her fist, trying to ignore it. He reached for her, pushing into the point of the dagger until he could take her hand. He shielded her against the pain and cursed his own weakness for not being able to do more.

“So what happens now?” She asked, pulling her hand away.

He released her and clasped his hands behind his back, trying not to show his disappointment. “Now, we seal the Breach.”

“And after?”

“We save our people, all of our people.”

“And if you can’t find a way, if it doesn’t work, what then?”

“I will keep searching for as long as I can,” he promised.

“Really? Wouldn’t it be tempting just to destroy it all if you fail?”  

“It would,” he admitted, “but you were right. Both worlds are worth saving and it is the only way for anyone to win.” It was the truth, he only hoped she would believe him. He waited as the point of the dagger burrowed deeper into the fabric of his coat, whether by intent or the shaking of her hand he could not be certain.

“Var lath vir suledin?” he asked softly.

His words broke the spell of her indecision and disbelief. She cast the dagger aside and threw herself into his arms. A small cry of relief slipped past his lips. “Ir abelas, vhenan,” he whispered into her hair.

“I almost killed you,” she said tearfully, her hands twisting in the fabric of his coat. “Couldn’t you have said anything else when you sent me back this time?”

He supposed he could have, but it may not have made a difference. “I fear that I am the only one who has ever said it.”

She pulled away enough so that she could look up at him. “Oh, Solas, what did you do?”

“I am not certain, vhenan,” he said, both fear and elation conspiring to make his voice shake, “but I promise I will never hurt you again.”

His fingers brushed away the tears that had frozen on her cheeks and his eyes could not help but focus on her lips. It was not the right time. It was certainly not the right place. Still he wanted-

Vir clutched the front of his jacket. “Kiss me quick before Cassandra comes back,” she demanded.

He let out a startled laugh and wrapped his arms around her once again. He closed his eyes and pressed his lips to hers and despite her request it was not quick. A single kiss, soft and slow, a singular promise that they would have time for many more. It was she who finally broke the kiss, flushed and out of breath. Then he held her for as long as he could until they heard Cassandra coming up the path.

They followed the Seeker to the Breach to meet their new future. Still in danger, still with many battles ahead, but he had his heart and she had her hope.

Var lath vir suledin.

She had been right. It could.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt33

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32

Solas returned to Skyhold. It had been a long time since he needed meditation to focus. He slowed his breath to find his center, allowing consciousness of his body to anchor his mind. He pictured the Inquisitor and searched.

He found Vir sitting on her couch reading a book about alchemy. He sat at the far end without invitation and tried to find the words that would win him the answers he needed. She put her book aside and waited.

“You were real.”

His words were met with silence, she pressed her lips together.

“I called you vhenan. I loved you.”

She looked at her hands and shook her head. Whether in denial or sorrow he could not tell.

“Even when I never said the words, I did.”

Her hands fidgeted in her lap unhappily. “Not you,” she said, unwilling or unable to look at him. “Not this time.”

“Not this time,” he agreed bitterly. “And what of you?” his voice broke on the words. “Which version of you is the truth?”

“This one,” she said hollowly, “I got tired of pretending.”

That she would lie to him now. About this. He struggled to control his anger, it would serve nothing. “I see,” he said. “Perhaps you could explain who you referred to when you said, Var lath vir suledin. Those were your last words.”  

Tears fell onto knotted fists and a small whimpering sound escaped her lips before she clamped her hand over them. She sniffed once and cleared her throat. “It’s good to know I died sentimental.” Bitter words as if her future self had betrayed her.

The anger flowed out of him. He had no right to it. He had killed her. A thousand times and more. He sagged back into the couch and stared at his own hands, he could almost see the blood on them, her blood. “You must hate me for what I’ve done.”

“It would have been easier if I hated you. I tried to. Every time, I tried to. It’s probably why I always failed.”

Her words were no consolation, there could be no consolation for this. “You should have killed me when you had the chance,” he said. His anger directed entirely at himself now. “I would have.”

She laughed humorlessly, “I’ll remember that if I have to do this again.”

“You won’t,” his words were barely a whisper, but with them came a realization of everything he had destroyed.

She finally looked up. Her nose was red, her lids swollen, tear soaked lashes clumped together framing bloodshot eyes, but none of that could mask her pride. She met his gaze. “I know.” The same smile he had seen before reappeared, sadder this time but still true.

His chest tightened and he worked to take a shaky breath. “Why… how… did you keep coming back?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” she asked. He shook his head. “You sent me.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt34

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33

Unless his counterparts had planned in advance to send her back in time, Solas did not see how it was possible that they had done so. He did not know how to do it, they should not have either. Still, the eluvians were tied to him and centered around her. It was possible that their feelings for her had compelled them to search for a way to save her, but it was strange that she would know it with such certainty.

“It was you,” Vir said addressing the doubtful look on his face. “I heard your voice. In the dark, wherever it is that we go when we die, it’s the one thing I always hear. I’m sorry, vhenan, you must walk this path a little longer. Then I wake up in Haven as if none of it ever happened. Ever since, it’s been the same. I try, I fail, you send me back. No matter where I was or what I did, you always sent me back.”

“So… you just… gave up?” He sputtered in shock, his words pouring out as soon as he could form them. “You made me hate you so I wouldn’t save you?”

Despite knowing that her intent was to change his feelings and despite being the truth, the stricken look on her face before she turned away tore at his heart and he regretted his words. She scrubbed at her eyes.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why?” she asked with laugh. “It’s not your fault. It’s all going according to plan.” She looked back at him fiercely, a small light of anger breaking through her grief. “But don’t you dare say that I gave up. I fought to stop you for ten thousand years. I tried everything I could. You saw what I did. Tell me what I could have done differently.” Her anger ran out, she ran her fingers through her hair. “But you wouldn’t listen and I couldn’t stop you. I couldn’t save my people and every time I failed, every time I went back, we suffered.”

“But-”

“Does it matter that I’m the only one who remembered?” she interrupted. “It happened. It was real. We died a thousand times because I failed.” She hid her face in her hands and sobbed. 

There was no comfort he could offer and no words that would not sound hollow coming from him. 

Her tears subsided enough for her to continue. “I couldn’t save them and I couldn’t let it go on forever either.” She straightened her back and raised her chin. "So I changed tactics. I saved you.”

He was spending an inordinate amount of time feeling bewildered lately. “Saved… me?”

“I gave you a monster to fight so you wouldn’t become one.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt43

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42

Solas sat on the couch in front of the fireplace, memorizing a diagram of Vir’s prosthetic. She had drawn the schematic for him and added Dagna and Bianca’s explanations of how the device worked. The words were written verbatim including Dagna’s penchant for rambling. Solas could almost hear the brilliant dwarf giggling at the end of an explanation.

He looked up at a noise and found Vir watching him from the doorway. The stairway behind her was dark, she had closed shop for the night.

“Is something wrong?” he asked, unable to interpret her expression.

“No,” she said, looking mildly embarrassed, “I was just thinking that this is the longest I’ve known you… the same version of you.” She shrugged and sat down next to him.

He waited for her to say more, but she only stared at the fire. He had wanted to ask her something and he supposed that it was as close to an opening as he would get. “May I ask you about our time together?” He faltered at the wording, “I mean your time with the other-”

“Our time,” she said.

“Our time,” he repeated.

“Sure.”

“We were not usually lovers, were we? I investigated many worlds before I ever heard myself call you vhenan. Why was it different?”

She pursed her lips thoughtfully before answering. “We were together the first time, but after that it was strange.”

“Because of what you knew of me?” he could not blame her, knowing how he must have seemed to someone who knew the whole truth. “Or because of what I had done?” He could not blame her for that either.

“Partly that, but…” she struggled to find the words, “I knew when you would let me kiss you the first time. I knew what to say to get you to admit that you loved me. I knew how to touch you to get you to take me to bed.” She shook her head almost angrily. “That kind of power over someone is wrong. I couldn’t take advantage of you that way, so even though I knew how you felt, I stayed away.

"But not always,” he said.

“No,” she said, “sometimes you pursued me.”

“Truly?” he laughed.

She made a face. “Is that funny to you or just impossible?”

“Neither,” he said still chuckling, “I am simply pleased I remembered how. Though now that I think of it, I believe I may have witnessed a few attempts. I am surprised you ever took me back.”

She smiled, but did not join him in disparaging his attempts at courting.

“Thank you,” he said.

“For what?”

“For not treating me like an echo or a copy. You treated me like a unique person.”

“You are a unique person,” she said. “Always stubborn and infuriating, but otherwise unique.” She looked at him from the side of her eye and grinned slyly. “May I ask you a question?”

“Yes,” he answered, but he had a feeling he would regret it.

“How much togetherness did you see?” Her eyebrow arched.

He actually choked, a difficult thing for a mental projection.

“That much? Was it an accident or did you stay to watch?”

“It was an accident of course,” he said indignantly.

“And you didn’t stay?” She grinned. “It doesn’t bother me, I mean I saw it in person.”

“Not the same thing,” he said. While he never did stay to watch, he had seen more than enough by accident. Still, he was pleased that she took no offense. “I am surprised I never observed myself using magic,” he mused.

A blank stare met his statement. So completely blank it could only mean…

“I have never used magic to pleasure you?”

“What?” She asked, still shocked.

“What was wrong with me?” he exclaimed, “Are you afraid of magic?”

“No.”

He leaned back and stared angrily at the fireplace.

“You’re very upset by this,” she said not bothering to hide her amusement.

He gestured helplessly, “I was in love with a beautiful woman, who was pliant and willing in my arms, who I have witnessed performing several acts that were obviously very pleasurable for me and I utterly failed to reciprocate to my best.”

A shocked silence met his unintended declaration. “There must have been a good reason. I certainly didn’t find anything lacking.” She was trying to placate him which only made it worse. She probably thought he was boring. He was boring.

“Perhaps,” she suggested, “you knew that I would have been self-conscious that I couldn’t return the favor in kind.”

“Is that true?”

“Certainly,” she said, not looking certain at all.

He huffed, brooding on the selfishness of his former incarnations.

After a long silence she spoke. “So… what would you have done?”

“I am not discussing that,” he said. “We should change the subject.”

She snickered. “You are the one who brought it up,” she reminded him. “Very well. What would you like to talk about?”

“Anything else,” he said, unable to think of anything else.

“You’re thinking about it right now aren’t you?”

“No.”

She laughed.

“I do not see why you are so pleased about this.”

She smiled at him fondly, somehow taking the sting out of the embarrassment. “Ten thousand years and you still surprise me, how can I not be pleased.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt50

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49

Vir navigated narrow alleyways in the most rundown part of Denerim. The city had prospered during the Inquisition’s height, but the recent conflict with his forces had taken its toll everywhere. She slowed when she reached a particularly dilapidated and abandoned building and felt her way along the darkened hallways. She lifted a hatch in the floor at the end of a corridor, revealing a basement ladder and climbed down.

She closed and locked the hatch behind her and opened tiny windows near the ceiling to let in air. Their thin light was the room’s only illumination.

She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed and slid to the floor. The narrow escape had rattled her and the effects of it were beginning to catch up.

“Are you all right?” Solas asked when she was still shivering minutes later with her eyes squeezed shut.

“Go fuck yourself, Solas,” she said then winced. “Sorry.”

“Do not apologize, I deserved-”

“No…” she growled in frustration, pulling off her jacket and checking it for damage. A spot of blood and a hole in the sleeve indicated a cut. She found the corresponding wound on her left arm above her stump. “Damn, he got me.”

“Was the blade poisoned?”

“He was an assassin. That’s like asking if the blade was sharp and yes the blade was fucking sharp.” She winced again at her own words and touched the wound. She sniffed the blood on her fingers then tasted it. “Interrogation cocktail, great. At least it’s not the usual. Ugh. Just ignore everything I say.”

“What does it do?” Solas asked carefully, expecting another rebuke.

“It’s supposed to make you tell the truth, but really it just makes you say whatever is on your mind. Then it causes hallucinations, they scare the fuck out of you, and you’re willing to tell anyone anything.”

“Is it lethal?”

She crawled to a box in the corner, selecting vials mostly by touch. She drank the contents of two of them before answering. “Only if I brain myself when the hallucinations start.” She thought for a moment, “I have heard of that happening, but it’s rare. The effects will probably last a day. I just dosed myself so that I sleep through most of it. Wish me luck.”

She felt her way to the bedroll in the corner and curled up on her side facing the wall. “Thanks for warning me,” she said.

“You are welcome,” he managed to reply.

“You don’t have to stay.”

“Would you like me to leave?” he asked.

“I’ve never wanted you to leave,” she answered.

“I-,” he began, but she was already asleep.

Luck was not with Vir and the hallucinations woke her. She was aware of her situation, but that knowledge did not stop the visions from terrorizing her. She backed into a corner, exhausted and sick, her thin veneer of calm crumbling. She covered her head with her arms and screamed.

Solas went to her side. “Vir. Vir! Look at me.” Wild eyes looked at him then back at the visions that haunted her. “Whatever you see, they are not there, just look at me, you are safe.”

Her voice was hoarse from screaming and her laughter was more of a croak. “Safe. Because you would never kill me, right?” She pointed at his face. “Not a thousand times, right? Do you want to know what I see? I see you. I see what you became.” Something moved in her altered vision and she pushed it away, batting at nothing. She squeezed her eyes shut and stifled another scream. She began knocking her head into the wall.

He pushed aside the guilt that choked him and tried to make his voice soothing. “Vir, look at me, that will not happen again. I will not become that monster. You did it. You saved me.”

Her eyes popped open, “Why did you keep bringing me back? I’m no one. I’m not even a mage. I couldn’t figure out how to help you or what you wanted me to do.”

“I’m sorry, Vir,” his voice broke, “I am so sorry.”

She reached up as if to touch his face. “I forgive you. If I have a right to, I do. I love you so much… it just wasn’t what you needed.”

“Vir, I-”

“It wasn’t that you didn’t love me enough. You just… hated yourself too much.” Her gaze was far too knowing, her words too close to the truth. He tried to look away and failed. “You didn’t want to be happy. Your solution had to hurt because that’s what you deserved.”

She raised her chin proudly, her resolve countering her terror. “I made you hate me more.”

“I don’t hate you,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t.”

“You did,” she said fiercely. “It was what you needed. The only sad part was that it was so easy, I just had to be myself. Everything you saw, that was me, my choices. No advisers, no Inquisition, just me.” She crawled back to her bedroll and curled up under the blanket. “So don’t be sorry about killing me, Solas. You did the right thing.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt40

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39

Vir retrieved a long leather case from the floor. She placed it on the desk and opened it. Inside, nestled in a cushion of silk and fur, was a marvel of artificing and enchanting combined. Solas stared at the object in wonder.

“How-” he began, glancing at Vir then stopped as his voice failed.

Vir unwound the bandage from her arm. The wound was a combination of surgical cuts and magical burns. The mark had made a wreck of her arm and he had not been gentle in its removal. Threads of green magic still lingered about the wound and a webbed pattern of scars circled the middle of her bicep. She reached inside the leather case and picked up the first part of the contraption.

The prosthetic arm was actually two pieces. One piece, a sleeve built of crystal, leather, and metal. The other piece, an elbow joint, forearm, and hand complete with articulating fingers.

She took a deep breath and shoved her damaged stump into the sleeve. Solas understood why she had allowed the wound to remain raw. Somehow the metal and crystal reacted to her blood, the enchantment binding the sleeve to her flesh. It was obviously painful and Vir leaned against the desk, stifling a scream into her fist. She recovered quickly and Solas came to the disturbing realization that she had done this many times before.

She wiped her streaming eyes and sniffled. “That wasn’t as bad as the first few times,” she said confirming his suspicions. “They really improved that part.”

“Who?” Solas asked, both horrified and fascinated.

“Bianca and Dagna,” Vir said, taking slow deep breaths. “This,” she said holding up the rest of the prosthetic, “is mostly their doing.” She examined the hand and fingers, checking it for defects.

“I did not realize Bianca and Dagna worked together.”

“Neither do they. I picked up artificing from Three-Eyes a long time ago. I made some designs myself then I took them to Dagna to see if she could improve them. She used the technique behind Samson’s armor to make the base that binds to my stump. It protects the bone too, once it’s bonded. Hurts like anything though.”

Solas followed along until the last part, “Who is Samson?”

“He,” she began then stopped, “nevermind, you wouldn’t know him. He followed Corypheus, his armor was crafted of red lyrium. This uses the same principles without the insanity and death.”

“I see,” Solas said, “and Bianca’s part?”

“We could never get the fingers to work, so I took the designs to Bianca. Every time they made improvements, I memorized the schematics. It was an iterative thing.” Satisfied with her examination of the arm she placed it over the socket. Once connected the whole thing pulsed with life, she flexed the fingers experimentally.

“You memorized the schematics for that?”

“Well yes,” she wrinkled her nose at him, “I don’t get to bring notes.”

“Incredible,” Solas said. With that kind of memory, he wondered how much of her experience she could add to the Vir Dirthara. He dismissed the thought quickly. “I can see why you were kinder to Varric than the others,” he said shrewdly, “Bianca would not have been as helpful otherwise.”

Vir shook her head, “No, it’s because he’s the ruler of Kirkwall. I need him to route supplies for me and take in refugees when necessary. Varric moves mountains for his friends and puts up roadblocks for everyone else. That is, if he’s not distracted by his other friends.”

Solas paused, taken aback. “Is that why you left Hawke in the Fade?”

“Hawke and I have had philosophical differences in the past that I don’t have the patience for this time around.” She shrugged. “Is leaving Stroud behind because Varric is my friend a more noble thing to do?”

He had to admit that it was not, still…

“Having second thoughts?” she asked.

“Are you trying to dissuade me?”

“You wanted the truth. I may as well start now.”

He shook his head. “I do want the truth. I cannot say that I have not done worse.”

Remarkably, she declined to agree with him in detail. Instead, she stood and crossed her arms.

“Ground rules,” she said, “you may add your own if you wish.”

“All right,” he said clasping his hands behind his back.

“No trying to convince me not to kill people, even or perhaps especially not your people.”

“I expected that,” he said and considered his own circumstances. “Do not ask me if someone suspicious is one of my agents.”

“Fair enough,” she agreed. “No talking or anything else distracting when I’m around other people.”

“Of course,” he frowned, “that would be childish. Speaking of childish, no insulting me when you speak to your people about me. I can hear you after all.”

“Addendum, if they insult you first I have to participate or it’ll look suspicious.”

“Accepted.” He would take their agreement seriously, but he could not help but smile.

She took one look at his face and turned away, giggling. “This is such a terrible idea.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt52

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51

They traveled south through the Brecilian forest. He did most of the talking as it posed no risk from any predators, human, elven, or beast. He told her of the forces he kept there and his surprise at how many Dalish had pledged to join him after his intentions became known. Vir smiled at that, but kept quiet.

Solas studied her face as they walked. The year spent believing she had murdered children had weighed heavily on her. He suspected her gaunt appearance and general lack of self-care had been a direct result of the additional self-loathing. She seemed happier now. Whether or not his warning has been necessary to save her life mattered little compared to relieving the burden she had carried in her heart.

“Solas? You’re staring… again.” She prompted softly when he had walked in silence for too long.

“I was just looking at your face… I mean your vallaslin,” he corrected himself with a shake of his head

She snorted. “You mean my slave markings? Don’t worry I already know. You’re the one who told me, more than once.”

“I see,” he said. He had not witnessed that conversation. Another glance in her direction revealed only an affectionate smile.

“You usually offer to remove them, but I didn’t wear them for the gods or even the Dalish, so I’ve never accepted.”

“Are you certain?” Solas asked. “In the first eluvian I visited, you did not have them.”

“I don’t remember every single detail of every time, but I do think I would remember removing the marks I use to honor my mother.” She laughed. “Though, I am far less sentimental about her memory after all this time.”

His brow furrowed, he had been certain it was not artifice that had hidden her marks. It was the first thing that struck him as incompatible with the personality she had presented while he was with the Inquisition. He stopped walking when he remembered the fate of that eluvian.

“Oh,” he said.

“What?” She stopped and turned to face him.

“I destroyed that eluvian and half a dozen others.”

She swallowed, her smile fading, her eyes tracked from side to side probably searching for gaps in her memories. “I guess that means it never happened.” She smiled again, but it seemed a little forced. “Hope I didn’t forget anything useful.” He had no reply for that so they continued on.

They walked in silence until they arrived at a tower that was mostly ruin.

“I think your place has already been robbed,” Vir said, examining the rubble that littered the area.

Solas chuckled. That had, after all, been the point. “There is a single room at the top, accessible by the stairs.” The stairs lay in pieces at the bottom of the tower. It would require a mage of strength to rebuild them.

“Not very helpful,” she said pacing around the perimeter. The rounded walls were quite smooth, but not perfect. There were cracks and places where nature had won and roots or moss had eaten away at the stone. Enough to act as handholds for a very nimble climber.

“The window is unguarded.”

She looked up at the narrow ledge several stories above the ground and smiled. “Shameful,” she said and began to climb. She had lost her remarkable prosthetic arm to the second assassin and now used more rudimentary replacements, but the climbing attachment gave her an advantage of both reach and grip. She reached the ledge without difficulty, prying open the shutters with a small flat tool while hanging casually from her climbing pick. She gripped the ledge, testing it for soundness and pulled herself up with her good arm. She perched on the windowsill, waiting for him to appear.

“Wards?” she asked.

“Not inside,” he said.

She swung into the room and landed silently, careful not to disturb anything. She need not have worried. The room was sparsely furnished, a single narrow bed and a desk were its only appointments. He had used the room soon after he regained his power, but as his forces expanded he moved to a larger base of operations. He had stored a few things here of moderate importance that he planned to return to eventually.

“Try the box on the desk,” he said. “It is locked.”

“Not warded?”

“I don’t ward everything,” he said with amusement.

“Why not?” she asked, “I would.”

“Locks are usually enough, because most people are not brilliant thieves.” He bowed at her and she smiled. “Wards will often damage people and the things you are trying to protect.”

“That’s so practical. Are you sure you’re a mage?” she said as she walked over to the desk and pulled out a tiny lockpick from her belt. She opened the box, revealing a pendant made of blackened bone. She examined the jaw bone in the light, holding it by the leather cords that bound it.

“You wore this every day while you were with the Inquisition. I asked you about it once. You said it was given to you by a good friend. You were reluctant to elaborate.”

“Yes, I lost them long ago. I do not require it to remember them, but it reminds me of a better time.”

She put the pendant back in the box. “I’m not stealing this.”

“You are not. It is mine and I want you to have it.”

“Solas,” she said.

“Please,” he interrupted. “There is so little I can do for you from here.”

She ran her fingers over the bone and leather, perhaps also remembering a better time. Then she put it on, tucking it into her shirt out of sight. She put her hand over her heart where it rested before looking at him.

“Thank you,” she said simply. She did not wait for an answer, but put everything else back exactly as it had been. She left through the window, quickly making her way to the ground.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt45

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44

Vir knew that Solas was constructing a new orb. Doing so required a great deal of power and in this Veil shrouded world there were few sources that Solas was willing or able to harvest. Vir’s strategy was to horde them and she had spent the last few thousand years finding and memorizing their locations.

Her methods had nothing to do with his people, they were simply collateral damage. It was why her forces had managed to arrive before his or countered his so quickly. They were both going after the same prize. Ordinarily he would be pleased that she had not been targeting his people directly, but it was both of their standing orders that had caused so much chaos.

His people would sacrifice everything to obtain what they needed to rebuild their world. Her people were instructed to destroy the artifacts if obtaining them proved impossible. As a result, if her forces failed in their objective, they would unbind the magic in the artifact causing massive damage to everything: Veil, spirits, elves, and mortals.

Her strategy was applied not only by her own people, but by the Magisters who were only too happy to obtain new artifacts, and the Qunari who were only too happy to destroy them. Neither side cared where the intel for such things came from, only that there was power to obtain and they needed to get there first.

That was bad enough, but there was more.

She did not destroy the artifacts she captured, instead she used them as bait. Storing them in various facilities, she allowed his spies to learn of their location. Upon attempting to raid the warehouses, they would find an army there instead. His people would be interrogated then imprisoned. Both the Tevinter and Qunari had adopted her tactics and if his forces encountered them, they were not as gentle. In Tevinter they were likely sacrificed, in Seheron they were re-educated.

Solas stared at the map then back at Vir in horror. That she had managed to kill so many of his people when that was not even her goal somehow made it worse. If he had known, if he had sought a different source, if he had not relied so heavily on his spies within her organization, so much death could have been avoided. It galled him that she used the collective knowledge of her better selves to become so perfectly destructive.

She leaned against the counter watching him impassively. It was the mask she had worn while he knew her in the Inquisition. He could not see behind it then and he was not certain he wanted to try now.

“Why the taunting?” he asked again.

She sighed as if she was tired of the question or perhaps just tired. “Because I had no other way to tell you where to find your dead. It’s terrible not to know where your people are or what happened to them. It’s terrible to wonder where someone is, to wonder whether they’re still alive.” She shrugged helplessly at his incomprehension, “I told you it didn’t matter.”

It did matter, but he could not let it just yet. “The crystal is new,” he commented dully staring at the map. The tiny marks that had once meant health potions now meant the blood of his people and the map was covered with them.

“Crafted by Dorian, I suspect, but I’m using it to call in a favor from the Qun.” She smiled grimly, “They’re going to contact me for a target, but the timing will be tight hence the crystal. I have some Antiquities to destroy, a lot of them apparently.”

“What?” Solas said, his head snapping around. “What did you say?”

“Antiquities,” Vir said. “My spies intercepted some of your correspondence but it was in elven. They sent it to me to translate and you used the word Antiquities. We know your forces are moving a large shipment of something at the docs near Qarinus. The manifest claims that they’re statues from further inland, but the boxes are heavily shielded. No reason to do that for statues.” She tilted her head thoughtfully. “I have never been able to stop you from finishing your orb, but I’ve never located this shipment either. The Arishok is lending me a dreadnaught thanks to that tip you gave me all those years ago. They just need me to give them a target. This one should be almost bloodless, even the crew should be able to escape if they don’t try to go down with the ship.”

Even with his body asleep far away, Solas could feel his pulse racing and he struggled to remain calm. All this time he thought she knew. “Vir,” he breathed, “Antiquities are not what you think they are.”

“What are they?” she asked slowly.

“It was our code word for our families.”

“Families…?” she said her eyes growing larger with each moment, “Solas, don’t…”

“I am not lying, Vir.” He said moving to her side. “I know what I agreed to, but I must break that promise now.” He pleaded, “So few children are left to my kind.”

“Children?” She covered her mouth and looked away. She took a few deep breaths thinking furiously then clasped her hands together. “Okay, okay, give me another target.”

His hope had built at her first reaction, but fell just as quickly. “What? I can’t.”

“Solas, the Qunari are going to contact me and I have to give them a target. If I don’t, they’ll consider our partnership finished and they’ll turn back to fighting Tevinter. Then Tevinter will be too occupied and neither of them will stop you. I have to give them something.”

“Just tell them the wrong ship.”

“Then it’ll look like the Qun attacked Tevinter again and the same thing will happen only the Arishok will blame me and they’ll attack the Inquisition as well.”

Solas clenched his fists, “Vir, there is nothing I can give you.”

“Nothing you can give me that won’t compromise your goals.” The crystal began to glow. Vir looked at it then back at him. Now it was her turn to plead. “Please? I told you I haven’t given up, I have to try to stop you.”

He shook his head, frustration and grief overwhelming him. “You can’t. You are already dead, you can’t change that,” he said angrily, “you’re all dead.”

She shrank away from him, unable to meet his gaze, then her eyes grew cold. “And so are they,” she said, picking up the crystal. She gave the dreadnaught its target.

“No!” Solas shouted and woke.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt51

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50

A sigh emerged from beneath the pile of blankets. Vir rubbed the bridge of her nose and opened her eyes.

“Why am I always alive when I wake up?” she asked the ceiling. She looked around and seemed surprised to find him still sitting there. “How bad was it?” she asked.

Solas tried to make his voice work, but he failed. His expression must have said everything.

“That bad.”

“You said what was on your mind,” he managed finally. “There were a few surprises.”

“Which was more surprising, that I have a filter or that I’m an even bigger asshole without it?” She stood with the help of the wall, stretching carefully and checking herself for injury.

“I am sorry about the assassin. Such tactics should have been beneath me.”

“Don’t insult my profession,” she said, her humor returned for a moment then disappeared just as quickly. “Besides, I murdered children. I deserve it.”

“You didn’t,” he had almost forgotten the reason he came. “The agent you contacted saved them. You saved them.”

She bit her lip and looked away. Her body shook and she reached out to the wall again for support, finally her shoulders sagged and she blew out a breath. She looked back at him, one corner of her mouth turned up, but it was not a smile. “That explains why you came back,” she said sardonically. “Well, don’t nominate me for Divine, I didn’t know if it would work.”

“You tried, that is what was important.”

“Ahh, trying,” she said, cleaning out the cut left by the Crow. “That thing I do, followed by whatever would have happened anyway.”

“You cannot know that. We have been operating under a theory of how this works, nothing more.”

“Hmm,” she considered his words then shrugged. “Well, I’m glad it worked.”

She stripped off her ruined clothing. Even in the dim light he was shocked at what the years had done to her.

If memory served him, his people had hunted her for two years. Whatever rest her time as an apothecary had given her, his people had long taken back. New scars crisscrossed her ribs and a large one traversed her back. She had been lean before, but now she was nothing but whipcord, steel will, and bone.  

He had imagined at the time that she was somewhere hidden on an estate out of their grasp, living richly while their people fought and died. It was what her decoys had led him to believe. Instead, she had been running and hiding, surfacing only to send information to her people. Everything unnecessary had been stripped away or lost.

He watched her button her shirt with one hand. He was not surprised at her dexterity, but he admired it nonetheless. Twenty buttons quickly paired from her navel ending at her throat. Callused fingers tapped her chin. Her lips turned up in a smile.

“Solas?”

“Hmm?” he said, his eyes still fixed on what had become of her body and his mind still far away.

“I’ve been using words at you all this time, you know.”

He had not.

“I said that I’m going to disappear now. I won’t be sending out orders. It will give you time to believe that you succeeded.”

“Yes,” Solas confirmed, “I did believe that until the Crow failed to collect his payment. When the body of the assassin finally turned up, my agents were terrified that they had lost you again. They feared retribution, half of our safe-houses were abandoned, it was quite an expensive operation.”

She made a face. “I don’t know if I should be sorry or proud.”

“I should have been wiser.”

“I had the advantage of knowing you better than you could have predicted.”

“That is true, but I am still sorry for all of this.”

He had meant so much more, but she took it to mean the assassin. “We’re at war, Solas. That’s how wars are fought.”

“Still,” he said, a memory and an idea taking root. “I would like to make it up to you.”

“Really?” she said, “Like how?”

“Would you like to rob me?”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt38

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37

Solas drifted through the Fade, returning to Vir when he could find her. She was rarely at Skyhold after defeating Corypheus. She traveled, mostly alone, to the far reaches of Thedas sealing rifts and preparing for the future that only she was aware of. He could have gone further back in time to see her, but the effects of doing so would be unpredictable and confusing for both of them.

She seemed pleased to see him when he did find her. Sometimes they would stay in her quarters and talk about the places they had been. Other times they would hike through the mountains where no one would notice the Inquisitor talking to herself.

This time, she picked up the lute on the stand next to her desk. She tuned it with deft fingers and played a song for him. He knew that she spoke elven fluently, but he did not expect her to know the words to Ame Amin. He wondered if she related to the song now as much as he did. She had no magic of her own, but the words and melody curled around him, somehow making the loneliness of the song comforting instead of sad.

He remained silent long after the song had ended, not wanting to break the spell of its sound. “I’ve never heard you play before or sing for that matter,” he said finally.

She put the lute back on its stand, much to his disappointment. “I’m not very good at it,” she replied. An incredibly untrue statement to his thinking. “But I played the Game once or twice and most people overlook the bards when they’re actually behaving as bards.” The corner of her mouth turned up. “I’ve never played for you before.”

“Never?” he was surprised and possibly hurt or perhaps pleased.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I only play for someone I intend to kill,” she grinned.

The confession startled a laugh from him. “I see. I suppose such a gift makes it a fair trade.”

She blushed and looked away shaking her head. Then the mark on her hand sparked furiously. She clenched her fist tightly and pressed her knuckles into the palm of her other hand. The storm of sparks and magic subsided and she breathed through the pain until she could speak again. Solas restrained himself from attempting to help with his magic. There was nothing he could do, as much as he wanted to.

“The Exalted Council is soon,” she said, “which is why I’m glad you’re here. I’ve noticed a pattern to your arrivals. You show up at some point in the future, but it’s always at Skyhold and I don’t have much longer here.” She had kept the Inquisition intact, but her forces had moved out less than a week after the Qunari’s failed invasion. “If this is the only place you can find me, I wanted to say goodbye.”

“Oh,” he said not knowing what to say. “I-”

“And I had a favor to ask.”

“Of course,” he replied, “within reason,” he amended quickly.

She laughed and brought out a chess board and a lacquered box. She placed it in front of him. “In all our years I’ve only won twice.”

“In ten thousand years?” he asked, surprised.

“We didn’t play every day,” she said defensively.

He looked from the board and back to her face, there was so little he could do for her…

“If you’re thinking of letting me win like Cullen tries to, I actually will kill you.”

He chuckled and indicated for her to set up the pieces, “King’s pawn to E4.”

She sighed. He had probably used that opening move a thousand times, but he always played differently even if the strategy was the same. He would never dream of insulting her with anything less than his best, but she probably knew that.

They played for sixteen hours before he finally won. He supposed his life was safe. She probably knew that as well.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt37

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36

The first two prisons were dark and broken. Ghilan'nain and Andruil were free.

Solas was not certain what Mythal had done to them while he held them frozen in place, but once the spell was complete the darkness that both corrupted and powered them was gone. Now they were pure spirit, weak and without memory. Alive with a fresh start, either the kindest mercy or the harshest punishment he could imagine.

Solas had been wounded in the battle. Ghilan'nain’s beasts broke through his battle-guard while he was unable to move. He lost two of his best soldiers and had barely held to consciousness while Mythal took care of the errant Evanuris. If their first fight had been any indication of what they would face, then they were not ready.

Mythal saw to his care and had him carried to safety. When he woke, he was on a bed in Skyhold with Mythal ordering him to rest. Ordered to rest, like a resistant child who refused to lay down for the night. Solas accepted Mythal’s healing magic and admonishment passively and kept his mouth shut. Mythal left with a nod for the armored guard and a firm glare for him. He told himself that the attendant was there to see to his needs while he recovered and not a jailer.

He closed his eyes and allowed his mind to drift through the currents of the Fade. It was natural that his thoughts turned to the Inquisitor in this place. She had made it hers once and his previous visits had made it second nature. He did not search for any time in particular, but a small beacon of emotion drew him and he focused enough to investigate.

“Not tonight, Cullen.” Vir’s voice drifted up the stairs of her quarters. “I’m… really tired.”

“Very well,” the Commander said neutrally, “I shall see you tomorrow.”

Light footsteps made their way slowly up the stairs until Vir appeared. She was wearing an over-sized night shirt and an exhausted expression.

She froze upon seeing him, it was then that he realized he was lying on her bed.

He stood quickly, “Apologies.”

She shook her head dismissing his words and dispelling her own paralysis. She crossed the room to the fireplace.

“I didn’t think I’d see you again, even the other you is gone now,” she said, banking the fire carefully.

He had not planned to return. He started to say as much, but instead his mouth said, “Cullen?”

She looked up from her task and stared at him. A rude noise emerged from the back of her throat. “No, not Cullen.”

He clasped his hands behind his back to keep them from fidgeting. “Am I disturbing you?”

“No,” she said, rising and making her way toward the bed. She moved slowly as if careful of several injuries. “I was going to sleep actually. I do that on occasion.”

“Ahh, then I will leave you to your rest,” he said.

“You can stay,” she said quietly, turning down the blanket and climbing in, “if you want. I don’t mind the company.”  She pointed at where he had been. “I promise I won’t try anything,” the ghost of a smile touched her lips.

He chuckled at the absurdity and returned to his side of the bed. He lay on his side and faced her, “What were you like the first time, when you didn’t know what would happen?”

She shrugged, a small movement in a pile of coverings. “Full of anger, guilt, and fear. I was no innocent when this started. I thought all of this was punishment. But I was so determined to make things right. When you sent me back I thought you were giving me another chance. I was grateful,” she bowed her head, “when I didn’t think I was going crazy.”

“And now?”

“I’m not afraid anymore.”

“No?” he asked. She shook her head. “Why not?”

“Because you’re here.” She reached out and tapped the bed next to his hand. “Now I know that this ends. I’m,” she thought for a moment then smiled, “happy.”

The lump in his throat kept him from replying for some time. When he could speak again he asked of smaller things, her past before the Inquisition, her training as an assassin. She asked him about the Vir Dirthara and the Archivist. She asked if the spirits were happier in his time. They spoke long into the night until her eyes closed and his next question went unanswered.

He watched her sleep before letting go of the memory. He drifted through the Fade, emotions warring inside him. Hundreds of scattered thoughts raced through his mind until one settled and refused to leave.

It was not supposed to happen this way.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt60

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51, Pt52, Pt53, Pt54,
Pt55, Pt56, Pt57, Pt58, Pt59

Solas became a part of the mirror’s spell, forced to witness his monstrous self as he tried to keep Vir with him at the end. A beast in more than appearance, he had lost control of his mind and his magic. When his clumsy attempts at shielding failed, he tried to give his life for hers, but he only managed to bind her soul to his and trap her in his world.

The People feared the beast of the Fade whose grief corrupted all he touched. He was too powerful for them to fight and too dangerous to ignore. They prayed to the gods to save them, but he had already seen them destroyed.

Whether it was their prayers that had summoned her or his own howls of distress, Mythal came to free him with Morrigan as her host.

Solas observed from his place in the eluvian, recognizing the spell as she began to cast. It was the spell she had used on Ghilan'nain and Andruil and now he knew the spell for what it was. When she was merciful it would cleanse a spirit, when she was not it would destroy it for all time.

“I’m sorry, old friend,” Mythal said, but before she could complete the spell her sympathetic smile curled into a snarl of rage.

“Sorry?” Morrigan cried. “He killed my son.” She fought for control her body and the spell began to change.

Even as he was, the monster realized his fate would also be Vir’s.  Terrified, he took her spirit and cast it as far away from himself as he could.

This was the moment. Solas thought. The moment that he sent Vir back, but the monster did not have the skill and failure meant her soul’s destruction. Bound to the eluvian or erased from existence, both choices were fates worse than death.

Solas caught Vir’s spirit himself and sentenced her to her fate.

He followed her through time, unwilling to let her walk alone. Each place she traveled, each path she chose, he watched and mourned what he had done, but each time she failed to change his mind, he sent her back again.

Despite her confusion, she did not despair, and Solas felt compelled to follow her example.

“The Veil is thin here,” his counterpart would muse and Solas could see that it was.

He studied the area from his place in the spell, noticing details that had been hidden before. When he first woke, he had been repulsed by his new reality. He could only see its flaws. From his place in the spell, he could observe the world with a detachment that had been impossible before.

Vir traveled far in her efforts to stop him and as she learned of her world so did he.

There were places where the Veil was thin and others where it had faded to nothing. There were gaps where rifts formed naturally and spirits roamed unhindered.

When he cast the Veil it had been a uniform barrier, a cloak of magic cast over the land. While it was meant to change the world, it was the world that had given the Veil its shape. Now Solas knew that shape and how he could change it to help his people.

He followed Vir through her final life and faced her as an enemy. She smiled as she faded away, her love for him enduring beyond all his unforgivable actions. There was no Morrigan to fight this time and no reason to send Vir back. The spiral of eluvians ended and the spell finally let him go.

Solas came to himself alone in the eluvian field surrounded by mirrors once again. He had somehow restored what Mythal had destroyed and more than that,he had an answer. Vir had been right, there was a way to save both worlds, and he was the only one who could have found it. It only took him ten thousand years.

He could go back to her now and tell her the answer. She would remember and his past self would listen. They could save both worlds. They could change everything, but all they had lost in their war would still be gone and they would still be enemies.  

He would never go back to find her. He would still lose her.

It was selfish, he knew. It was cruel, he knew that as well, but he reached for her as gently as he could and hoped she could forgive him one more time.

“I’m sorry, vhenan,” he whispered to her spirit and watched it echo through her many lives. “You must walk this path a little longer.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt39

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38

Solas continued to explore the Fade on his own. He was vaguely aware of healing magic being applied to his body from time to time. It was not enough to disrupt his slumber, nor did it seem that anyone wished for him to wake.

Vir had said her goodbyes. There had been no tears only dry humor and an acceptance of what was to come. He, on the other hand, had not been ready. He searched for her again, an idea forming in his mind.

Vir was surprised at his sudden appearance in her quarters, but she waved her stump at him from behind her desk. The bandages around her wounded arm looked damp and there was a crate of empty bottles next to her. Whether they had once contained alcohol or healing elixirs was difficult to determine.

“You should change that bandage,” he pointed out.

“I will in a minute,” she said, leaning over her chair to rummage through a different crate. She selected a bottle that was definitely alcohol and pulled out the cork with her teeth. She downed half of it before sighing and leaning back in her chair.

“Someone should be here to help you,” he said as he glanced around the room. Half of her belongings were packed in boxes, most of them books and papers. A small set of traveling gear was stacked neatly next to the wardrobe, the only part of the room not in disarray.

“In other lifetimes someone would be. Apparently, people are less nurturing when you’ve been an asshole for the last several years.”  

“Are you drunk?”

“Not yet,” she said taking another sip, “but I will be soon. So… what can I do for you?”

He had considered a number of ways to make his request, but her current state did not allow for anything except the direct approach. He crossed the room to stand next to her. “May I stay with you?”

She stopped with the bottle half-way to her lips, “I’m sorry?”

He looked down at his hands. “As you have deduced, I can only find you at Skyhold and after this I do not know where you went. I could search for you, but I would be looking through both space and time. It is unlikely that I could locate you unless I knew where and when to look. However, if I follow you from Skyhold, I can go where ever you do, but I would be with you constantly.”

“Why would you want to do that?” she asked carefully.

“I have seen your other lives and I have learned much of those Inquisitors, but they were not you. They did not make your sacrifices. They did not attempt to face me alone. I have made many assumptions about you when we were adversaries. Some have already been proven wrong.”

“Not all of them.” Vir warned, “Maybe not even most of them. You were never a fool, Solas, I didn’t pretend to be terrible. I was terrible. I will be terrible. You will not like what you will see.”

“I know,” he said, “but I want to know the truth.”

“What about your people?” she protested. “By my estimates, it’ll be another five years before you tear down the Veil. Don’t you have more important things to do than follow me around?”

“I am asleep, recovering my strength. It is likely I will remain that way for some time, but someone will wake me if I am needed.”

She refused to look at him. “This isn’t a good idea, Solas.”

He knelt next to her trying to capture her gaze. “Please,” he said, his voice a near whisper. “I want to know you.”

She shook her head violently. “If this hurts you, it could-”

“It won’t. Not the way you fear,” he said firmly. “I promise.”

She frowned and stared at the bottle in her hand though she did not drink from it. Finally she looked at him and narrowed her eyes, “You’re not in any way using the fact that I like you to get what you want, are you?”

The admission was unexpected. He contrived to look innocent. “I would never.”

She snorted, but she could not stop herself from smiling.

“Fine,” she said and he stayed.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt53

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51, Pt52

Vir seemed troubled about something. Solas watched for the third time as she took a breath to speak, but the words died on her lips.

“You should ask, whatever it is,” he said when they neared a stream that would mask the sound of her voice.

“I… don’t know what’s real anymore,” she said quietly.

“You are real,” he said.

“Heh,” she replied, rolling her eyes. She took the opportunity to fill her waterskin.

“That was not a platitude,” he said. “The Fade is manipulated by thought. Things that are solid, that you can taste and touch, does not by necessity make them real. Real is a person who has a purpose, who feels and thinks and makes choices and creates something wholly new from nothing. Real is someone who struggles against what is to make a change to what can be.”

“Is it still real if it can be so easily erased or rewritten?” She was thinking of the eluvian field, he had been disturbed by the implications of that as well.

“The ease with which a person may be killed does not define the value of their life.”

“It used to.” She pointed at herself. “Assassin. The value of a person’s life was set by how difficult it was to kill them.”

“What changed you?”

“Time. Paying attention. You.” She smiled. “I figured out long before we met that I had done terrible things. I wanted to do better, even if I couldn’t fix what I’d destroyed, but I had no basis for the concept of good.” She drank from the water skin and bent again to refill it. “That’s why people follow the Chantry or the Evanuris or even Corypheus, but I was never much of a follower. You showed me that free will was important, the right of people to exist, compassion extended to someone because they need it, not because they’ve earned it.”

“You give me too much credit,” he said.

“I did. I was devastated when you revealed that most of that time you didn’t even think we were people.” She looked at his troubled face and smiled again. “But you learned, you saw something in me and you said I changed your mind. If you could do that, then so could I. If you could do that, then maybe you could do it again.” She closed the waterskin and hung it on her pack then continued walking along the stream.

Solas followed, lost in his thoughts. They both knew he had not.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt56

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51, Pt52, Pt53, Pt54,
Pt55

Vir held her dagger aloft, pushing back the Fade until the Venatori’s spell collapsed. The mage died screaming, but his beasts continued their charge and Solas was not certain which part of the scene was more horrifying.

Her eyes glowed blue as did her lips and the veins running down her neck, a side-effect of consuming vast quantities of lyrium all at once, but that was only part of it. The weapons she wielded, one a spiky metal prosthetic attached to her arm and the other a long double ended dagger, both glowed with a sickly red energy. Both weapons were enchanted with red lyrium, as dangerous to the wielder as they were to their targets.

She waited until she knew the mage was dead. As soon as the rift collapsed she spun on her heel and ran. One of the beasts had leapt at her to strike. It landed on the spot she had once stood, mere seconds after she moved. The impact of the beast triggered the trap she had placed there. It burst into flames, a column of fire obscuring the creature for a moment. It writhed in place, still alive but severely wounded. The other was knocked away by the blast, but it seemed otherwise unharmed. It regained it footing and kept running.

It caught up with Vir quickly, forcing her to stand and fight. It was twice her size, but her weapons made her a match for it; they even moved similarly, a sight that made Solas shudder. The beast lunged, its arm seemed to grow even longer in the attack. She parried with her prosthetic, a move augmented by the red lyrium’s corrupted energy. The blow knocked her backward and shattered her weapon, but it also tore off the beast’s arm. It screamed in pain, the blood curdling sound of red lyrium’s crystalline dissonance. Vir used the opportunity to sever the beast’s head, ending its screams permanently.

Solas ran back to the ruin and found his people guarding against a wounded, but still dangerous creature. They were still shackled, but had been able to cast a binding that held it in place. Their efforts kept them alive, but nothing more.

Vir had taken the time to ensure that the other creature was dead. She set it aflame, burning out the blighted lyrium in an attempt to prevent it from spreading.  When she returned she looked at the scene and recognized the impasse. 

“Fuck,” she said.

“We will weaken and the beast will be free to hunt the forest. It will likely search for you after we are dead,” Abelas said.

“It wouldn’t find me,” Vir said.

“We could let it go now, Inquisitor,” he replied.

At that she laughed. “You’re threatening a dead woman,” she said, kneeling in front of the elf she had negotiated with at the Temple of Mythal. “Is this your new duty?” she asked, examining his shackles.

“Not this, but duty brought me here.”

“This is just a lock. I can free you, but I want your word. You will never mention this to anyone and you will not follow me when I leave,” she paused to add, “and I will leave.”

He tilted his head curiously. “How do you know that I will keep my word once I am free?”

She made a sound in the back of her throat, “You would be the one who has to live for eternity knowing you were unable to keep your simple word to a shemlen.”

He wheezed a little. It might have been a laugh or a sign of injury, but he nodded. “You have my word.”

She drew out a lockpick and freed him from his shackles. She picked up her dagger and turned her back to him. “Take my belt knife,” she said, indicating the weapon with a tilt of her head.

It was a ridiculous weapon against a monster, but it was all she could offer and at greater risk to herself than to him. He took it and stood ready.

She leapt in slashing at the beast, trying to hold its attention. The others kept it in place, but could not stop it from making its own attacks. Abelas jumped in when the opportunity presented itself. Slowly they wore the beast down until Vir was able to strike a killing blow. She disposed of the body the same way she had the other, including her own dagger which had become twisted and chipped beyond use. Abelas seemed surprised at that and offered the belt knife back to her.

Solas watched the exchange with some trepidation. Vir was extending too much trust to people who had been told repeatedly of her misdeeds. As the thought occurred to him, wisps of power came up from the ground and wrapped around Vir’s legs. One of his people, still shackled, cast a paralysis spell.

“Vir,” Solas warned.

The elf casting the spell called out in elven, “Kill her now, Abelas.”

Abelas turned and shouted for his mage to stop, but Vir clenched her fist and halted the spell. She grabbed the knife from Abelas’s hand and whipped it across ruin where it lodged in the offending mage’s throat. He slumped forward with a wet gurgle, dead.

The rest of them stared, but made no attempt to harm her further. Abelas held up his hands and bowed his head. “Ir abelas, Inquisitor,” he said.

She nodded and left him to free his remaining people.

They reached Vir’s camp just before dawn. The vine covered chest in the corner stood open, as did the now empty reinforced weapon case. Solas made note of it, but intended to remain silent.

Vir rolled her eyes. “You may as well say it,” she said.

“Did you know the Venatori would be there?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I wouldn’t have known what was happening if you hadn’t woke me and I never stay out here for long at this point.”

“Then those weapons were not for him,” Solas concluded. “They were for me. You were planning to use them to kill me, were you not?” It was not an accusation, only a question.

“It was an option,” she admitted.  

“And now you no longer have them.”

She actually smiled. “It wasn’t my preferred option.”

He refused to find the humor in it. He had seen the power of the weapons and her ability to suppress the Fade. “Had you used them, you might have succeeded. You could have stopped me. You could have killed me.”

She shrugged as she started a smokeless fire. She sat stiffly on the floor, leaning back against the wall as the last of the lyrium and adrenaline wore off. She patted the floor next to her. “We both know that I didn’t. Now we know why.”

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt54

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43, Pt44, Pt45, Pt46, Pt47, Pt48, Pt49, Pt50, Pt51, Pt52, Pt53

Vir traveled deeper into the Brecilian Forest, avoiding any paths or trails. Solas followed, mildly puzzled by her direction. Within weeks his former self would complete the construction of his orb, but he was far to the north in a tower deep within the Arlathan Forest. At this pace and direction, she would never reach it in time.

They arrived at a ruin, hidden from view by the dense overgrowth. It was the remains of a small building, sturdily built, but not even a keep. The humble lords of it had long since vanished and even the modern elves of the area had never found it. An intact eluvian stood against a wall beneath a mural of a tree without leaves.

Solas stared at the gate. It made sense that Vir would know of places that he did not, but he had not expected this. He reached out with his magic, something he had not done since the beginning. He attempted to find the energies of the portal, but it was only a memory of an eluvian and as inert to him as common stone.

“I cannot use that in this form,” he said.

She nodded. “I had guessed as much.” She looked at the mirror then back at him. “It’s almost time.”

“Yes,” he agreed. He felt he should say something, help her in some way, but what good would it do? He would not give her false hope.

“I planned to stay here for a while,” she said, interrupting his thoughts. “It’s safer than waiting around where I would end up.”

Even until the very end, his forces had explored the Brecilian forest searching for ruins precisely like this one. No matter her precautions, this place was not safe. “Really?” he asked.

She grimaced, caught. “No, not really,” she looked away, laughing a little, “but I can stay a while if you like.”

“Please,” was all he managed to say.

She had made preparations for her arrival at the ruin. A large chest stood in the corner covered by roots and other overgrowth. A cursory glance would miss it. Even on closer inspection, it appeared to be part of the original ruin, but there were hints that the vines were younger and did not quite blend in with the rest.

She used her prosthetic to open it. Several plants with razor sharp barbs and sticky leaves grew intertwined with the harmless vines that covered the chest. A natural and perpetual protection, she did not want anyone to tamper with its contents.

Inside was a long leather case, much like the one that had once contained her prosthetic arm. This case was larger and reinforced with a dark metal. She ignored it in favor of the camping kit stored beside it.

She made camp on the stone floor and stretched out on her bedroll. The ceiling of the building was a distant memory, but the canopy of the trees kept most of the elements at bay. A few gaps among the branches revealed the stars. She pressed her hand to her heart where his pendant lay and stared at the sky.

He sat, leaning against the wall next to her head. “Werewolves once roamed this forest,” he said.

She tilted her head back to see if he was serious. She raised her brows when she saw that he was. “I’ve heard of that. Any relation?”

He put his hand over her face and she giggled, swatting through it. “No,” he said with mock sternness. “It was a curse set by the Keeper of one of the clans here. The Hero of Ferelden helped to end it. My agents heard of it from the clan in question, but the story grew each time for the telling.”

“As stories tend to, especially when they involve wolves.” She smiled and closed her eyes. “Tell me.”

He told her the story of Zathrian and his people, a man consumed by grief and vengeance. Of a curse that harmed more than just those who deserved to be punished and perhaps lasted longer than initially intended. He told her of the hero who came with a purpose far greater than one man’s duty. The hero who persuaded him to end it.

In the stories told by his clan, Zathrian saw the wisdom of her words and agreed. In the stories told by others, she drove him to his knees in combat and forced him to listen at the point of a sword. In both versions he gave his life to do what was right. Solas wondered aloud how many stories ended with the death of the hero, the villain, or both. 

She did not answer and he was not certain she even heard the ending. When he looked down at her, she was asleep.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt42

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41

The “Inquisitor” was working out of Val Royeaux. The Inquisition was now a branch of service directly under the Divine. Solas had agents throughout the organization, some of them assisted the Inquisitor directly. He had been well aware that the Inquisitor was not at Val Royeaux. Further, the official Inquisition was not the force sending the orders that harmed his operation most. The problem was, the false Inquisitor at Val Royeaux was neither idle nor harmless and he could not afford to ignore her. His agents were spread thin attempting to protect his interests from the Inquisition’s forces while trying to root out the Inquisitor’s true location.

Vir commanded the real Inquisition from Wycome. She had set up a simple apothecary shop where she sold herbs, mixed potions, and transcribed recipes. She lived above her shop in a small, but cozy, apartment. She cooked her meals on a tiny kitchen fire or ordered food delivered from a shop. From the outside it was completely ordinary, not the life or environment of the most ruthless and bloodthirsty military leader in Thedas. It actually seemed rather ordinary from the inside as well.

She ran her shop without conflict from humans, much to his surprise. Life was different for an elf in Wycome, the city elves and the Keeper of her clan were on the City Council and the elven sector was no longer called an alienage nor did it resemble anything of the sort. One thing he had credited her with was caring for her people, even if it seemed to be to the exclusion of all others.

“I knew of your ties to this city,” Solas said when they first arrived. “I sent an agent to discover if you might have a base of operations here. They never found anything. You do not even bother to cover your vallaslin.”

Vir looked up from the orders she had been writing and smiled, “Every organization is prone to corruption,” she said and returned to her work. The thought had occurred to him before, but he had believed she was incapable of such subtlety. He had been wrong about much.

They settled into a daily pattern where she would run her shop and he would stand next to her and read. Wycome’s library was better than he expected and no one thought twice about an apothecary who read books. In the evenings they would talk, sharing the knowledge of their many years, but both were careful to avoid subjects that would reveal too much about the immediate future.

He was certain that she was receiving coded messages from her people via deliveries and sending out orders the same way. She kept a large map of Thedas on the wall that displayed trade routes and delivery schedules, not exactly typical of an apothecary, but nothing that screamed combat. She allowed him to read everything she received and sent. He had noticed a pattern that could indicate troop movement, but he had not yet discovered the key.

Solas had wanted to learn the truth of what she had done to fight against him. He wondered if all he would discover was that she occasionally gave her impoverished customers too much change and substituted higher quality potions than what they had paid for.

Vir Lavellan x Solas (Time Travel AU): The Unending Wake pt44

(Index) Note: Trespasser spoilers.

Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5, Pt6, Pt7, Pt8, Pt9, Pt10, Pt11, Pt12, Pt13, Pt14, Pt15,
Pt16, Pt17, Pt18, Pt19, Pt20, Pt21, Pt22, Pt23, Pt24, Pt25, Pt26, Pt27, Pt28,
Pt29, Pt30, Pt31, Pt32, Pt33, Pt34, Pt35, Pt36, Pt37, Pt38, Pt39, Pt40, Pt41,
Pt42, Pt43

The days were gentle and passed quickly. So kind were they that it was almost possible for Solas to believe they were endless. He could more than tolerate this kind of life. Knowledge to pursue at his leisure. A good friend to pass the hours with, one with wisdom of her own, a spirit unique and rare. But the peace of the little shop was an illusion.

By his estimates his former self was encountering the full force of her resistance and the aftermath of its sting. The war was raging outside the walls of the city and Vir knew it. He could see the way each message upset her and how she agonized over each response. She was not choosing simple potions to send to outposts with such care.

Today, a special courier had delivered a broach with a large crystal set in the middle. She received it with a look of both anticipation and dread. She closed the shop early and took her work upstairs.

He could no longer ignore the questions that hounded him.

“Was it truly necessary?” he asked. “Not the killing, but the taunting. You send messages with body counts and locations for my agents to intercept. I know it’s deliberate. Why do it?”

“I needed you to hate me, remember?” she said absently, reading through her latest set of orders. “And-” she began then stopped.

“And what?” he seized on her words.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said shaking her head. “The point is that I needed you to hate me and I succeeded.”

“You always have more than one reason for everything. Tell me why.”

She looked up from her papers, “Solas, what are you looking for?”

“The truth.”

“Really?”

“Of course,” he sputtered, “why else would I be here?”

He thought he saw disappointment, but she looked down to hide her expression. She licked her lips and gathered her papers. “If you’re looking for the truth, then why haven’t you asked me for the key to my cipher?”

He could say he had wanted to discover it for himself, but he had not truly been trying. He had no answer.

She raised her brows, “If you’re really here for the truth, then I think that it’s time you saw it.”

She got up and walked down the stairs. He reluctantly followed.