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Little Does She Know

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"Miss! Miss! Are you alright?" a muffled voice rings out and Genevieve whimpers as ice spreads through her veins. A warm hand grabs her shoulders and gently turns her over her eyes fluttering open to stare into bright blue eyes. "Max! What happened?" an older voice shouts and Max looks up towards four approaching soldiers each donning a set of polished golden armor. "Uncle, I found a survivor" he shouts back and looks back down at Genevieve with a soft smile. "Your safe now my lady," he says and helps her stand. Genevieve looks around and her hazel-gray eyes widen as she sees the many bodies strewn across the snow amongst splintered planks of wood. "My lady, are you alright?" an older gentleman asks his slightly aged face wrinkling with worry. "I, I don't know" Genevieve mumbles wincing as a sharp pain erupts in her head. Her hand flies to her head and her fingers come away sticky with blood. "Do you recall what happened here?" Max asks and she slowly nods "I was struck by a large object. All I felt was a sharp pain and then there was nothing but darkness" she whispers and the man sighs. "That's not surprising miss. Especially with that bump on your head. Here let me see it" he says and grabs her head gently moving a piece of hair from her face. "It's not too deep which is good. The cold most likely stunted the bleeding so I doubt you've lost too much blood. You can travel with us until we reach Haven. What is your name my lady?" he asks and she swallows. "Genevieve Scott, sir," she says and he nods. "It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Genevieve. I'm Arthur Trevelyan and this is my Nephew Maxwell. You'll be safe traveling with us from now on" he says with a smile and she returns it.

"Is it generally so cold here?" Genevieve asks as she wraps her arms around her dress coat, which is the only barrier between her bare skin and the frigid air surrounding her. "Its Ferelden my lady. It's always cold" he chuckles and she nods shivering. "We'll have to equip you with proper attire for the cold weather so you don't end up with frost cough," Arthur notes and sets a large wool blanket over her shoulders. She smiles at him tugging the blanket tighter over her savoring the instant warmth it gives her. "Knight-Commander!" a man with short blonde hair runs towards them. "We'll have to stop early for the night. Knight William's war hound has refused to go any further" the man says and Arthur sighs. "Alright, let us go see what has happened".

Genevieve looks between the two as she follows them towards the back of the group to a man screaming at a dog that lies on its side panting. "Get up you stupid mutt" he shouts and Genevieve's eyes widen. "Stop!" She shouts and rushes towards him catching his hand before it hits the dog. "release me wench" he says and yanks his arm out of her grasp. "You can't. You'll hurt the puppies" she cries out as he tries to circumvent around her which causes him to freeze. "You're talking nonsense" he growls and tried to shove her aside only for Arthur to grab hold of him. "Listen to the little lady Will," he says and William looks at her eyes ablaze with fury. "Genevieve" Max whispers encouragingly and she gulps. "She's in labor. Moving her could result in losing her and the puppies" she says and Arthur nods. "Alright. help her little one" he says and she kneels down next to the dog touching her side gently pulling back as she whines in pain "It's alright now mama. you just relax and push" she whispers. "Do you know what you're doing Genevieve?" Maxwell whispers as he kneels down next to her. She looks up at him and sighs "I've only done this on humans. It shouldn't be much different. I hope" she murmurs the last part and he nods kneeling there with Genevieve as she brings two newborn pups into the world.

"Get those abominations away from her" Will shouts as Genevieve tries to show the mother dog her pups. Her eyes widen as Will grabs the Mabari mother and drags her away from the pups by the collar. The pups whine as they feel their mother moves farther away from them making tears form in her eyes. "Lady Genevieve, Its for the best. Most mother Mabari are separated from their young so they can continue to be war hounds. The pups were to die as soon as they entered the world. We don't have the resources to train them during a time of war" Arthur says and she looks down at the two helpless pups that she brought into this cold and cruel world. "No. I'll take care of them" she whispers and unwraps her scarf from her face and makes a sling to hold them in. Settling them into the fabric she wraps it around her body and holds them close to her body offering them her warmth and comfort to quiet their cries. "My lady, you'll be cold if you do that!" Maxwell says and she smiles at him. "Yes, and I'll survive but they won't," she tells him and his eyes widen at her selflessness.

"Alright, Lady Genevieve as you wish. My uncle has had a tent set up for you in camp. In a few weeks we reach Haven" he says and she nods smiling gratefully to him. "Thank you Maxwell" she whispers and he bows walking off towards camp.

After three weeks of walking, the small town called Haven finally appears in the distance giving Genevieve a spark of hope for the puppies she holds close to her. Throughout her journey, she had grown close to Arthur and Maxwell Trevelyan and provided healing to the soldiers who needed it. As promised he took her to the small market and brought her proper clothing for the climate. A gorgeous amethyst dress that had short puffed sleeves and a gray underbust vest that clenched around her waist. He also bought her a black cloak and a new shawl to replace the old one that she gave to the puppies who now are old enough to follow her around on their own. As they walk through the small town warning bells ring making Genevieve look around in confusion. "Maxwell?" she asks and he looks up at the temple his eyes wide. "Stay here Genevieve. I'll be back" he promises and runs off. Genevieve watches his head towards the temple unaware that he will break his promise for some time.

Chapter Text

A loud bang resounds through the air as Genevieve watches the temple that Maxwell had just run to erupt into chunks of debris. Screams erupt as a shock wave rushes towards them sending everyone to the ground as large pieces of wood and stone plummet into them. Genevieve is thrown to the ground as a man lands on top of her a piece of timber protruding from his chest and digging into the soft skin of her stomach.

She cries out ears ringing her vision disoriented as she stares up at the green marred sky. Ash rains down from the sky like snow burning her lungs and skin as she takes in large gulps of air tears streaming down her face from the pain and fear she feels. As her hearing clears up she hears Barking among the wails and cries of survivors and Ares the larger of the two sniffs her head whining softly.

Genevieve presses her hands flat against the man's collarbone and pushes him off ripping a scream out of her as the shard leaves her stomach. Whimpering she pulls herself up and wraps her shawls around her stomach tightly trying to stunt the bleeding. She looks around her and notices a child wailing over a woman who lies on the bloodstained snow. she stumbles towards him and kneels down next to him looking at the woman.

"Good god" she whispers as she see's splinters of wood sticking out of her abdomen and unclasps her emergency med-kit from her belt and flips it open. She starts to operate on her taking all the shards out and cleaning the wound. Shouts sound over the silence and The little boy whimpers burying his head in her skirts as she focuses on her work trying to ignore the trickle of blood she feels dripping down her abdomen and onto her legs. When she finishes tending to the wound, she moves the woman to a slightly collapsed tent and helps anyone else she can find that has an opportunity to live, moving them to the tent afterward to provide at least some minimum coverage.

Footsteps approach as she works on a man whose head is bleeding severely. Ares to start growling warning the potential attacker that he would retaliate if harm were to befall his mistress.

"Commander I found a survivor!" a male voice shouts and more heavy footsteps approach as another figure drops down in front of her.

A large leather gloved hand wraps around hers making her pull back in order to continue wrapping the man's head. "My lady" the man whispers and she looks up to meet golden eyes.

"Can you help me move him to the tent with the others?" she asks her voice uneven making his eyes widen.

"Others?" he asks and she nods making him gesture to the two men who help her carry him to the tent.

"Genny!" the little boy cries out from next to his mother. The man's eyes widen as he sees all the people who live but are still wounded lying there with bandages wrapped around them and only this one woman conscious.

"I tried to save as many as I could" she whispers and gasps clutching her stomach.

~*~

Cullen peers down to the woman's stomach to see blood soaking through the shawl tied around it. His eyes widen as she looks up at him her pain filled Hazel gray eyes fog over as she slowly crumples to the ground. He reaches out and catches her now unconscious form lifting her into his arms as he looks around at the injured.

"Rylen have the soldiers take the wounded back to Haven! I need to get this woman help" he shouts and Rylen nods letting Cullen rush off with Genevieve slowly dying in his arms.

As he reaches Haven he see's Cassandra staring down an elven man. "Cassandra! I need a healer!" he shouts and she looks up at him "We don't have any available Commander. They are all preoccupied with the injured civilians" she says and he growls.

"Cassandra, this woman needs help immediately. She saved at least a dozen others within a kilometer of the Temple doing so with a severe stomach injury. And that is not including several soldiers she saved so I suggest you find someone and fast" he growls and her eyes widen in shock at the unpredictable side of Cullen she didn't think existed.

"If I may. I'm a mage healer and could look at her. But I must do so now or she will bleed to death" the elf says and Cullen takes a deep disliking the idea of a mage looking at the fragile woman in his arms but seeing no other option he nods curtly and lies her down on a cot inside a healers tent. Genevieve's eyes flutter open hazy with confusion and pain as the elf looks at her "Do not worry Da'len, My name is Solas. I'm going to take a look at your wound now, alright?" he says and she nods weakly letting him undo the strings of her dress.

Cullen blushes and turns away but stays hovering by the door still not fully trusting the mage enough to leave him alone with her.

"Cullen, How did she survive the blast so close to the temple. She should have died" Cassandra says and Cullen narrows his eyes at her jaw set. "Surely your not suggesting she had anything to do with the blast Seeker?" he asks sharply and she sighs. "She was seen by Leliana's scouts with the man we found in the temple. Its suspicious that she would survive the blast along with the man who's under suspicion of being its cause" she says.

"That doesn't prove anything. If she was in any way involved in this why would she save so many others at the cost of her own survival? She healed anyone she could find and only stopped to wrap a shawl over her wound to keep her from bleeding to death. She used her own medical kit on others and used not a single piece on her injuries instead she choose to let herself potentially bleed to death while trying her best to heal complete strangers. Those are not the actions of someone behind what happened at the conclave. Let alone the murder of the Divine" he snaps his breathing slightly heavy. "I'm sorry..." Cassandra is cut off by an ear piercing scream coming from the tent. Cullen rushes into the tent to see Genevieve writhing on the bed tears streaming down her face hands clenched in the blankets. Blood gushes from her stomach and Cullen gasps "What's happening? you were supposed to heal her mage!" he snarls and Solas looks at him with hard eyes "I'm doing as well as can be expected, Commander. There must be pieces of wood still inside her. Hold her down or she'll end up killing herself" he says calmly and Cullen swallows grabbing her bare shoulders pinning her to the cot. "My lady, be still. You are safe and will be cared for. Just be still or you'll hurt yourself" he whispers close to her head. Genevieve slightly calms down at his voice small whimpers escape trembling lips. He continues to whisper calming words to her as Solas works tirelessly on her.

 

"She needs rest and plenty of water. She's lost quite a bit of blood and should stay hydrated to help her body replenish it. Someone should stay with her to ensure she doesn't accidentally rip her stitches in her sleep. now I believe you have a prisoner in need of attending to" Solas says and Cassandra nods looking at Cullen. "I'll stay with her. Figure out what the prisoner knows and what connection he has with this woman" he stares at Genevieve as she lies on the cot flushed and unconscious. 'you risked your life for people you didn't know. Some of the men and women under my command. I won't let your sacrifice be in vain. I won't allow what happened to you at the conclave to happen again' he thinks blazing golden eyes focused on Genevieve's gentle face. 

Chapter Text

Genevieve's eyes flutter open to the sounds of metal striking against metal accompanied by muffled voices. The first observation she takes is a large man standing at the entrance staring out over the snowy landscape. Her second observation is the male elf who introduced himself as Solas, standing at a table rummaging through some papers. He turns and notices her walking briskly over to her.

"You're awake. How are you feeling?" he asks and the man at the entrance of the tent turns around his eyes widening when he notices Genevieve sitting up in the bed. she rubs her throat attentively and the man by the door grabs a water skin hanging from the frame of the tent and holds it up to her lips tilting it up letting her take small paced sips. She clears her throat and smiles softly "thank you" she whispers and he nods hanging the skin back up on the post.
"Now, the Commander here is supposed to ask you what you know about what happened and your connection to the survivor but I have a more important question you need to answer before you are interrogated. It might be quite personal so if you would be more comfortable talking about it with him outside the tent I can arrange for him to leave" Solas says and Genevieve gulps understanding the topic his question would bring up.

Looking over at Cullen she sighs locking her fingers together. "I can leave," he says and heads towards the entrance of the tent only to be stopped by Genevieve.

"No, it's alright," she says and looks up at the two men, taking a deep breath she reaches up and takes out the blue colored contact lens from her left eye revealing a gem green iris. she looks up at the two men through her eyelashes and shrinks back at the shocked expressions on their faces.
"People fear the unknown. And anything different from what is perceived as normal can cause fear in even the bravest of people. I have what is called Heterochromia, Its when a person is born with two different colored eyes. as you can see my right eye is blue and gray and my left is green. This is very rare and so when someone is born with it they are thought of as different and thus would be treated as such. In most cases including mine meant we were bullied and I was one of the unlucky few where it became physical" she tells them. Solas shakes his head in disgust knowing how terrible human could be to other species but rarely had he ever heard of them treating their own kind with such hatred. enough to inflict physical harm on someone because they have two different colored eyes instead of them both being the same.

Cullen, on the other hand, feels sorrow for her accompanied by disbelief. How could anyone hurt such a gentle person over a fact so silly as the color of their eyes? Especially when they were as beautiful as they looked. "You won't have to worry about that anymore. I won't allow you to be treated the way you have been in the past. You'll be safe here my lady" Cullen says eyes filled with resolve. "Thank you" she whispers a small but sweet smile gracing her lips.

"Commander, has the healer awoken yet?" Cassandra asks and steps into the tent making Genevieve look up at her wide-eyed. "Good, she's awake. Solas, help her bathe and dress. The Commander will be back after three bells to bring her to the Chantry" she says and looks at Cullen making him sigh and follow her out of the room. Solas helps Genevieve stand and she holds the blanket over her bare body while servants bring in buckets of water and Solas sets a fire rune under the copper clawfoot tub. With Solas' help, Genevieve lowers herself into the warm water and washes away the remaining blood and dirt from her bruised skin while Solas puts together a set of clothing for her to wear. After Genevieve finishes washing, Solas helps her dress and as the third bell rang Cullen stood outside the tent.

Genevieve steps out of tent and Cullen holds out his arm smiling shyly at him looping her arm through his. He leads her to the chantry both trying to ignore the stares and murmurs of bystanders. Genevieve shudders as she steps into warm Chantry. Cassandra stands by the stairwell and walks towards them when she notices their presence. "Follow me, we're going to figure out what happened at the conclave and see whether your guilty or not," she says tone sharp and Genevieve flinches looking at Cullen with wide eyes.

He gives her a sad look and leads her down to the Chantry's the cells. The cell door swings open and Genevieve gasps at the sight in front of her. Maxwell is kneeling there gaping at his shackled hand that crackles an eerie green energy. "Maxwell!" she cries and yanks out of Cullen's grasp rushing over to Maxwell who stares at her in shock.

"Genevieve!" he shouts and she collapses to her knees and grabs at his hand looking at his scarred flesh with worry. Armored arms wrap around her midsection making her scream as she's ripped away from him and Maxwell starts to struggle. "No! Release her!" he snarls and Cassandra walks towards him glancing at Genevieve with a firm look as she cries and struggles in the guards grasp.
"Tell me why we shouldn't kill you both now?" she growls and Maxwell looks between her and Genevieve then notices Cullen standing behind the guard a frighteningly blank expression on his face as he gazes at Genevieve. "I don't understand. Genevieve, what happened after I left you at the temple?" he asks and she stills tears in her eyes.

"I thought you were dead! You ran towards the temple and then it exploded. It was chaos afterward. People were dying all around me so I tried to heal the survivors and look for you but I never found you! Where did you go? Why couldn't I find you?" she whimpers and he looks at her worried. "I don't remember anything after I left you. I remember telling you to wait there then running for the temple but I cannot recall anything else" he turns to Cassandra the look of helplessness and desperation on his face "Whatever happened after that, whatever you think I may have done, Genevieve had nothing to do with it. Release her, and I'll do whatever you want. Just don't hurt her, please" he pleads.

Cassandra's face softens slightly as she looks at Genevieve "Commander, take Lady Genevieve to the front lines. Have her treat any wounded there, I'll join you later" she says and Maxwell panics. "You can't! She cannot protect herself out there! You'll get her killed" he shouts struggling and Cullen grabs Genevieve's arms gently before leading her out the room trying to ignore the tears streaming down her face as Maxwell's screams fade. "It'll be alright my lady. There will be soldiers to protect you, just try to stay out of the fighting" he tells her and she nods shakily following him up the mountain.

Genevieve tries her best not to flinch at the horrifying sounds echoing throughout the battlefield as she tends to the injured at the back of the group but with every terror's shriek and every wounded man's cry she loses more of her resolve. she shakily wraps a mans shredded leg knowing there's nothing she could do for him but try to relive some of the pain while he slowly bleeds out.

"My Lady it's alright" the man gently whispers and wipes tears from her face leaving a bloody streak under her eye.

"But you're going to die" she whispers and he gives her a pain-filled smile.
"I know. I'll be going home to see my wife and child who have been waiting for me by the Makers side for three years now. don't shed tears for a man like me. I am just leaving this life for the next" he says and she chokes on a sob nodding.

"I think I can see them now. Thank you for easing the pain and staying with me for my last minutes" he says and takes his last breath eyes fading and glazing over as death embraces him sweetly. Genevieve reaches up and closes his eyes setting his hands over his chest shuddering as she feels this unknowns man death as much as the rest.

As she tries to grasp onto her emotions she doesn't notice the terror demon sneaking up behind her. Cullen from across the way sees this and jumps into action marching over the icy landscape "Lady Healer run" he shouts and Genevieve looks back and sees the terror rushing at her and she screams scrambling up as Cullen continues his pursuit. With a crack and a deafening shriek from the demon, the rift closes and two daggers slice through the terror making it turn to ash.

Maxwell stands there a dark look coloring his face as he looks over Genevieve's form for injuries. He drops his daggers and drags her into his chest cradling her to him as she sobs her hands fisting into his leather jerkin. "Shh Evie. I have you. Your safe now" he coos into her ear gently as he glares at Cassandra over her shoulder whom huffs and looks away shielding his view from her guilt filled eyes.

"Thank you Cassandra" Cullen speaks up and she looks over at him face pulled back into her usual stony expression.

"Don't thank me, Commander. This was the prisoners doing" she tells him.

Maxwell still glares at Cassandra clearing his throat "This 'prisoner' as you call him, has a name and is currently standing right here" he speaks lowly an edge to his tone. Cullen sighs and rubs his neck looking slightly abashed.
"My apologies Maxwell. Thank you for coming down here and helping close the rift. I don't know how much longer we would have been able to hold the demons off" he admits and Maxwell scoffs lightly. "I could see that," he says and looks down at Genevieve peeking out from behind her hair at Cullen. He looks back at her his eyes filled with guilt.

"I'm sorry Lady Healer. I should have stayed closer to you and ensured you were protected like I promised you would be. The fault is mine" he says and bows his head slightly.

"It's not your fault Commander. accidents happen and the only thing that is important now is everyone is alright myself included" her soft bell-like voice making his eyes soften, gratitude replacing the guilt and shame. "Commander take Lady Genevieve back to Haven. I was wrong in sending her to the front lines. This is not a place for someone unequipped for battle" Cassandra orders and Cullen steps forward with a nod of agreement.

Genevieve steps back from Maxwell's embrace and looks up at him concerned. "I'll be alright Eve. Head back to haven and help where you can. I'll be back soon" he says and she nods and takes more steps back until she stands next to Cullen who Maxwell notices has not once taken his eyes off her since they started talking. "My Lady are you able to walk back to Haven?" he asks and she nods slightly looking over at him with tired eyes. "I'll be alright. I Just want to go back and rest" she murmurs and Cullen nods in understanding.

"Alright my lady. Let's get you back to Haven. You've had a traumatic day today. You of all people deserve to rest. You've helped us more than we can ever hope to repay you" he says and she smiles at him gently. "you won't ever have to repay me. I do this to help others not for whatever the Inquisition can offer me" she says and he lets a rare smile twitch at his lips. "that makes you so much more valuable to us than you will ever know" he whispers to himself as he watches her walk towards a soldier who limps his way back in the direction of Haven.

~*~     ~*~    ~*~     ~*~    ~*~      ~*~    ~*~

 

Chapter Text

Genevieve sits next to the bed that Maxwell lies in staring at his unconscious form thinking of the last few days events. She had spent those days watching over his healing sometimes staying up all night and late into the day just to bring his fever down and get fluids into him when his body permitted it.

 

Sighing tiredly she turns to the window her eyes drooping as her body finally shuts down from her lack of rest and her eyes flutter closed as she falls asleep to sounds of the recruits waking up for early morning training.

 

As the sun peeks over the mountain tops Cullen walks through Haven towards the cabin Genevieve and the Herald are currently settled in a wrapped package in hand and knocks softly on the door. His eyes furrow when no one answers and opens the door quietly to see Genevieve asleep on the chair beside the Herald's bedside. He shakes his head slightly and walks over to her unwrapping the package and pulls out a fine emerald and sapphire plaid shawl wrap and drapes it over her shoulders tucking it around her securely. Her eyebrows are pulled together as she awakens and her eyes flutter open to see sun-kissed orbs staring back at her.

 

"Commander?" she whispers warily, eyes still clouded with sleep.

 

His lips twitch slightly as if he wants to tell her something but thinks better of it "My Lady you shouldn't sleep like that you'll end up hurting your back".

 

She sits up slightly causing the shawl to fall off her shoulders and onto her lap. Looking down she gently runs her fingers over the silky fabric before glancing back up at him her breath hitching at his tender care filled gaze that's locked onto her. "I had Josephine acquire that when I realized your cloak was ruined due to your injury. This should keep you warm from now on" he says and she smiles brightly at him her heart fluttering within her chest.

 

‘Maker but she is beautiful' looking away his cheeks turning pink at the thought, mentally cursing himself.

 

"Commander are you alright? You look flushed" she asks touching his head lightly making his gaze turn back to her as she looks at him with a concerned frown.

 

"Do not worry yourself Lady Healer I am alright" he waves her off with a sigh and looks over her with critical eyes noticing how pale her skin is "When was the last time you ate?".

 

"Maybe I had some bread and cheese before the dinner bell" she falters her frown increasing as she tries to recall when she ate last "Honestly with everything that has happened, these last few days are so blurred together that I can't be sure that I ate last night".

Cullen exhales sharply and holds out his hand and she looks at him curiously. "Let's get something to eat then My Lady," he tells her his expression telling her there's no room for arguing. she stands up with his help looking over at Maxwell unsure whether she should leave him. "He'll be fine Lady Healer. I'll look after him while you go have breakfast. You can't take care of him if you can't care for yourself" Adan chides from the doorway and walks over to Maxwell starting to examine him. "Well.... alright. Thank you Adan" she finally caves and Adan gives her a short wave goodbye as Cullen leads her out of the cabin and towards the tavern.

"Flissa would you get Lady Genevieve some porridge. She has not eaten since yesterday afternoon" Cullen says as he pulls a stool out for Genevieve and she sits down at the bar table. filling up a bowl setting it down in front of Genevieve Flissa looks up at Cullen "Did you want me to get you something to eat as well?".

 

"No need to trouble yourself Flissa. I'm alright" he says and she nods looking at Genevieve who studies the contents in her bowl curiously. "Can I do anything else, my lady?" Flissa asks and Genevieve looks up slightly startled but shakes her head "No thank you Miss Flissa. This is fine" she politely declines and takes a bite of the porridge, deeming it acceptable she continues to eat watching everyone around her as they interact with each other.

 

"I hope your time here in Haven has been pleasant. I know your first interactions with us were... not very welcoming, which I apologize for, but under the circumstances were inevitable, to say the least," Cullen speaks up and Genevieve looks over at him staying silent for a few moments.

 

"It's alright Commander. I understand why you and the others reacted like that. But other than the unfortunate first impressions I've enjoyed my time here immensely" she admits before taking another bite of her meal "I hope after this, I would be allowed to stay, maybe I could help out by working with Adan in the apothecary. I would love to be able to continue  helping people if you and the others will permit it."

 

Cullen's eyes widen in surprise at her train of thought and shakes his head "Of course you can continue helping. Your the closest thing we have to a healer other than Adan and with all the new recruits and refugees coming here we're going to need your healing practices now more than ever. Besides you've already earned your place here by helping those in need. You saved men and women under my command and for that, I am so very grateful. If anything, I am the one indebted to you, as I'm sure many others feel" Cullen states and Genevieve blushes shyly.

 

"I don't want people to feel indebted to me. I was just doing what anyone else would have done" she murmurs softly.

 

"That's the thing my lady, what you did that day, not everyone would be willing to do even for people they know" Cullen reaches forwards and grabs a hold of her hands that lay limp in her lap the pad of his thumb running over the tops of her knuckles lightly "What you did was selfless and honorable. You helped others before you even thought to help yourself and I do not believe even the best of us would have done that under those circumstances" Cullen admits looking down at their intertwined hands.

 

"I think you would have acted in the same manner, Commander" she whispers softly that if he hadn't been paying such close attention to her, he could have missed it amongst the chatter of the tavern.

 

He looks up into her eyes both vastly different from the other but just as beautiful as the next. One reminding him of the grey of the ocean an instant before dawn's first rays touch the water and the other the color green, like the forest after a rainstorm as the sunlight, finally breaks through the clouds. The pure kindness and sincerity that shines brightly within them makes him tremble as his chest tightens, feelings of gratitude and doubt clouding his mind.

 

Movement at the entrance of the tavern draws his attention, and he sees one of his runners enter his eyes scanning the crowd briefly before landing on them and motioning him outside.

 

"No rest for the weary it seems" he mutters and Genevieve looks towards the door and sees the runner standing there shuffling impatiently and she sighs.

 

"You need to go" she states and he nods and stands up making her look up at his towering figure. "I do, unfortunately. I enjoyed speaking with you Lady Healer, but it seems there is always something that needs my attention. I want to ensure you eat every meal from now on. If I hear you miss one again I will assign a runner to retrieve you every time the bell sounds" he tells her a stern expression on his face.

Genevieve nods smiling sheepishly as she replies "Alright Commander I'll go eat when the meal bell rings".

 

He nods in satisfaction and bows slightly to her before heading to the door. "What did you need me for, recruit?" he inquires and the boy places his fist over his heart. "Seeker Pentaghast has summoned you to the Chantry sir" he replies and Cullen nods in acknowledgment.

 

"Cullen" Genevieve's soft voice stops him as he prepares to leave making him turn to look at her standing there wringing her hands looking up at him through her eyelashes.

"Yes Genevieve?" he asks a smile tugging his lips at her adorable behavior. "Thank you for the shawl. I don't really know how to repay you for it though" she confesses and he lets the smile take full form on his face.

 

"You don't need to repay me, Genevieve. I did it because I wanted to, not on the grounds that I expected anything from you in return" he stands there for a moment as she looks back him hesitation etched on her face "But if you want to, do so by taking care of it and using it well" she watches him leave the Tavern with shocked eyes as she unconsciously fingers the shawl wrapped around her shoulders before she finally smiles warmly her eyes shining with happiness.

Humming, Genevieve walks down Haven's road her eyes flickering around at the scenery and the people going about their day. As she reaches the front gates a voice calls out making her stop. "Songbird! Where are you going?" Varric calls a large grin on his face as he jogs up to her. "Songbird?" she looks at him confused making him chuckle. "Why call me Songbird Varric?"

"Because, no matter what you're doing, you are humming. Like a bird you sing and its just as beautiful and sweet as a songbird's call" he tells her and she blushes making him chuckle again. "So where are you heading?"

 

"I was just wandering around trying to familiarize myself with the layout. I also wanted to talk with someone about getting supplies and a decent place to work. Hopefully, by then Maxwell would have woken up but I have my doubts" she explains and Varric nods in understanding.

 

"I can help you with the first two but unfortunately I am no healer like you so If you say Maxwell's unlikely to wake up today then he most likely won't" he agrees and she hums slightly.

 

"Well at least you can help me with the first two" she sighs slightly worried about Maxwell as he has been unconscious for the majority of the last three days "But I won't do that until tomorrow so maybe you could come with me then. But on the matter of who I talk to who would be the best?"

 

"That would be out lovely ambassador Josephine. You know, the one Curly requested to acquire that pretty shawl for you!" He exclaims and she narrows her eyes at him.

"What do you mean Varric? The Commander gave me this shawl" she firmly states and he nods a glint in his eyes as his smile turns to a smirk. "Oh, I know our dashing Commander gave you that shawl Songbird. Cullen is Curly. That's his nickname, clever, isn't it? I came up with it back in Kirkwall when he had that curly mop he called hair. Now he seems to have it tamed. And his hair isn't the only aspect of himself he seems to keep tamed" he tells her and she tilts her head at the double meaning at the end of his statement.

 

"What do you mean by that Varric?" she questions biting her lip slightly.

 

"Tell you what Songbird. Just be your adorable and oblivious self and bite your lip like that next time you talk to him and you may just get your answer. If not then he's stronger than Hawk would have been" he states and she sighs shaking her head before saying farewell to him and continuing down the path towards the cabin.

 

"Master Tethras" Solas' says from behind him

 

"Chuckles" Varric smiles again his eyes dancing with mischief.



"Are you perhaps meddling into the love life of our resident Commander and Healer?" he asks an eyebrow raised and Varric laughs. "I just might be Chuckles. I did an amazing job with Hawke even though it didn't last. But I'm positive that the paring between these two will be legendary" Varric claims

 

Solas crosses his arms across his chest "What makes you think that the Commander will pursue our Healer?"

 

"Do you honestly think Curly can resist the gentle love of a healer?" Varric asks and Solas stays silent, unable to deny that. "That woman is an angel sent from the very Maker to bless that man's life. I can see it, she will heal all his wounds and be the balm to that poor man's broken and battered soul. Just you wait. I may write terrible romance novels, but regarding the people around me, I'm never wrong about love."

 

As Varric and Solas talk a dark figure watches Genevieve walk to the cabin and enters quietly from the shadows. A glint of steel flashes as a figure slips through the town and out the open gates. Perched on the hill directly across from Haven, gold eyes trained on the small cabin, where their target sleeps unaware. ‘Soon. but not tonight' they think as the sun's last rays finally disappear behind the mountain basking the valley in darkness.

Chapter Text

“The Inquisition cannot remain here, Ambassador. If you can’t prove it as founded on Justinia’s orders” Genevieve hears an unfamiliar man’s voice sound from the other side of Josephine’s door.

 

“This is an inopportune time, Marquis. More of the faithful flock here each day” she hears Josephine tell the voice as she opens the door. “But Allow me to introduce you to our resident healer Lady Scott. She healed many of your supporters after the attack and has continued to provide her services. Lady Scott may I present the Marquis DuRellion, one of DIvine Justinian's greatest supporters” the Marquis looks over at her and studies her puffing his chest out. 

 

“and the rightful owner of Haven. House DuRellion lent Justininia these lands for the pilgrimage. This “Inquisition” Is not a beneficiary of this arrangement” he states looking at Genevieve.

 

“I wasn’t aware Haven had an owner outside of the Chantry” she squares up with him and he stumbles over himself in response. “My wife. Lady Machen of Denerim, Has claim to Haven by ancient treaty with the monarchs of Ferelden. We were honored to lend its use to the Divine Justinia. She is…. She was a woman of supreme meret. I will now let an upstart order remain on her holy ground”. 

 

“I thought the right and left hands of the Divine were the ones who started the Inquisition" Genevieve states and the marquise gets flustered. "I’ve seen no written record from Sister Leliana or Seeker Pentaghast that Justinian approved the Inquisition" he stutters in protest and she raises an eyebrow at him before Josephine steps in to continue drilling the man

 

“If you won’t take her at her word. I’m afraid seeker Pentaghast Must challenge him to a duel" she states and the marquis' eyes widen.

 

“What?” he squeaks in horror his eyes bugging out from behind his Orlesian mask.

 

Genevieve giggles behind her hand as Josephine smirks slyly “It is a matter of honor among the Nevarrans” Josephine starts to write on her not pad distressing the marquis even further “Shall I Arrange the bout for tonight?”

 

 “No! No" the marquis insists and let's out a defeated sigh "Perhaps my reaction to the Inquisition’s presence was somewhat hasty".

 

At the marquis' surrender Josephine softens her face and speaks in a gentle tone “We face a dark time, your grace. Divine Justinia would not want her passing to divide us". The Marquis nods agreeing with her in that aspect.

 

 “Word of proof may be all you can afford. It’s much more than what you have as faith, at least that your showing" Genevieve speaks up stopping the marquis before he reaches the door "Ser Trevelyan is the Herald of Andraste. And Divine Justinia has used this land to help stop a war and to bring peace. By your words here you are spitting on her dying wish and faith because you are trying to throw the Inquisition out of Haven along with the Herald of Andraste who is an idol of faith in a time where faith it is needed the most. All I have to ask you is this, What would you throwing out the Inquisition gain you? And what would you lose from having us stay?" at his look of disbelief she steps closer to him her eyes boring into his "you may lose the Chantry but is that worse than the benefits you would gain from having us here? The chanrty denounced us but they were not here to see Andraste deliver her Herald from the fade others were. And if you take time to look, you would see that the voices of the people who all believe that Ser Trevelyan is the Herald of Andraste outweigh and muffles the ones who do not".

 

As she finishes the marquise studies her with apprehension and clasps his hands together in front of him. "What would you suggest I do, my lady healer? Surly the Chantry will denounce I as well and that is the idol of faith for all of Thedas" he inquires and she sighs shaking her head.

 

“If you keep us here. You are following Andraste’s path. You are helping her fix the world again through her Herald. As for the chantry, if you haven't noticed by denouncing us they have spat in the face of the religion they claim to represent. If the leaders of my faith went against everything I believed, I can honestly tell you I wouldn't want to follow them any longer. But just because others may still want to follow them and I do not doesn't mean that I believe any less in the Maker. Everyone is they're own person and has the right to their own thoughts and feelings on the matters of life. What matters most is that you marquis, follow what you feel is the right path. The Chantry is not the Maker. You should not let them dictate your feelings on something that is personal to you. The Maker gave you the right to feel and make decisions for yourself. So don't let anyone even the Chantry that clams to follow and act out the Makers bidding take that gift away from you".

 

After a while of shocked silence the marquis steps towards her and touches her cheek gently  "you must be sent by the Maker and Andraste themselves for you speak of what I believe they would convey to me. You bring light and the word of faith in this dark and desperate time" he says and looks over at Josephine who stares wide eyed at them "the Inquisition is welcome to take refugee in Haven for however long it needs its lands. I will also be lending my support and offer to help in any way that I can" he tells her and bows to Genevieve before turning on his heel and leaves his retreating footsteps the inky noise breaking through the awed silence.

 

"My lady, you just sealed a major ally and you did so by speaking from your heart. I have studied to be an ambassador for most of my life and you sealed that alliance with such ease that even the best of us could only hope to do. The Marquis was right" Genevieve blushes and fumbles with the tasseled ends of her shawl. "But never mind that, you must have come here for something. So what is it that I can do for you Lady Genevieve?” she asks looking at her warmly.

 

“Varric told me that you would be the person that I would need discuss healing quarters and supplies with” Genevieve explains and Josephine nods a thoughtful look on her face. “Well, the supplies I can get you some as long as it's going to contribute to your work here. As for a place to work I’m afraid we are already using every available space for the refugees” Josephine tells her and Genevieve sighs.

“Well there is a cabin just a ways past the recruitment camp. I’m sure I could show you on our exploration you promised me today Songbird” Varric voices from the doorway and Genevieve looks back at him surprise coloring her expression. 

“Very well. If that cabin is suitable for your needs I will have my people get it ready for you Lady Scott. As for your supplies just make me a list of the items you’ll be needing along with a separate list for personal needs. You have a allowance of 200 gold a week for your work for the Inquisition. So as of now you have a weeks worth of pay to spend” Josephine tells her and Genevieve’s eyes widen.

“Don't even think of it Songbird. You’ve earned that money and you do well to keep it” Varric warns and she sighs nodding her head in defeat. “Alright. I’ll get that list in for you by eventide” she bids and follows Varric outside the Chantry and out into the crisp morning air.

 

“So now that everyone is out of hearing range how are you really doing Songbird?” Varric asks and Genevieve sighs looking up at the glaring sun. “There has been so much death and so much suffering. I just hope Maxwell wakes up soon. I miss him” she murmurs softly looking down at her hands tracing the lines on her palms.

“Is there something between the two of you?” he inquires eyeing her intently as her head snaps up a started look in her eyes.

“No!” she exclaims then sighs looking away bashfully replying in a more calm manor “No. Maxwell and I are just friends. He’s more of a brother to me than anything else. I owe him my life. Him and his uncle”.

 

“What happened?”

 

“He found me unconscious among the rubble of a destroyed cart. I was the only survivor. His uncle took me in and cared for me even though he had no reason too. I mean what would he gain from helping a woman who doesn't remember a single thing before then and whom he didn't know and had no reason to trust, travel to the nearest village with him and his group of soldiers. He lost more than he could have gained but yet he still smiled and tended to my wounds and defended me against his own men when I intervene on a matter that I had no right to involve myself in. If it weren't for him and Maxwell I would have died out there be it from frostbite or the wildlife. Like I said I owe them everything” she recounts and Varric nods glancing at her softly.

“Well I’m glad Knight saved you. It makes his nickname even more applicable. But even then I know you would have been fine Songbird. You are a strong woman and you have a fire inside of you that I know will come out someday. And when that day comes it will be a memorable day for all who bare witness to it” Varric states and Genevieve flushes at his praise.

 

“Thank you Varric”.

 

{*~*~|<&>|~*~}

 

   “Well this it it. The old abandoned cabin soon to be the healing den. I think it would be the perfect place for you to set up shop. You have the loft for your personal quarters, and the main room for your patients then this smaller area for your tools and other medical needs like wash basins and supplies. Then outside you could have a small garden. Sure the ground it frozen but I’m sure Curly can scrounge up a few recruits to build you raised beds out here” Varric muses and then looks over slyly at Genevieve who studies the area intently.

"No doubt he will have guards posted outside to protect you from unseen enemies” he drawls lowly and she looks over at him curiously an he smirks. “You still won't tell me what you mean by all your weird implicating statements will you?” she asks and he chuckles in response causing her to sigh but smile affectionately. As they enter the small shack and she looks around and nods envisioning all the possibilities that could be for preparing the space for patients.

“What are you two doing all the way out here?” Cullen’s voice suddenly sounds from the doorway causing Genevieve to squeak as she twirls around to face him a hand over her chest where her erratically beating heart lies just beneath its flesh and bone cage.  

“Cullen! You gave me a fright” she says breathlessly as she tries to calm herself. “I’m sorry that I frightened you my lady but you still haven’t answered my question” he reminds her and she gulps knowing he won’t like her answer.

“This will be the new Healers cabin Curly. Josephine didn’t have anywhere else to place the sick and their new caretaker so we are using this cabin as the new healers quarters so Songbird here can take care of Havens occupants” Varric explains and Cullen’s face darkens quite measurably and Varric smirks looking between the brooding commander that the adorably bashful healer.

“My lady. Did you not think how far away from haven you are? There is no real protection out here for your patients let alone yourself. Please try to reconsider. There must be other options than setting up all the way out here” he contends looking down at her with a worried gaze.

She sighs looking up at him shyly a slight blush tinting her cheeks and the tip of her nose “I have thought about that Commander. But unfortunately there is no where else I can care for the people of Haven at. Lady Josephine told me Haven is already overly crowded and that this was the only suitable option that wouldn't make matters worse or kick other people out of their homes. I know it’s quite a bit a ways from haven but there is no where else for me and the people need a place for me to care for them. Please try to understand where I’m coming from. There is no where else no matter how much you and I wish there to be” she expresses her eyes pleading with him to understand the situation.

He groans rubbing the back of his neck knowing deep down that she is right but not wanting to admit it to himself just yet.

“Curly if you're that worried about her why don’t you set up a patrol or maybe a guard to her cabin. Then she will be watched and it would give you a piece of mind while your not here hovering” Varric suggests and Cullen gazes at Genevieve a thoughtful look on his face.

“Even though I loathe to admit it, your right Genevieve. this is the best option for all concerning parties here. But know that I will be setting up a guard and an hourly patrol around your cabin. As for every meal bell, I will personally come to get you for I know if I don’t you will forget to eat. I’ll also admit that I need to work on remembering to eat as well” he whispers the last part under his breath and Varric chuckles at this. ‘She is good for him and he for her. Their story will rival anything I have ever written’ he thinks to himself as he watches Cullen gaze at her lovingly and Genevieve look up at him through her lashes in adoration.

‘Now just to give them a little nudge and they’ll be together in no time’ he grins a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Chapter Text

The soft glow of the flickering candles littering the desktop illuminates the slightly fading parchment that Genevieve stares on trying to think of a list for personal use. She groans feeling a headache creeping up on her and rubs her temples with her fingers closing her eyes trying to relax her tensed muscles. She sighs and looks down at the short list consisting of two journals, parchment paper, oil paints and an assortment of charcoal pencils and quills along with ink. All going to be used for medical purposes but in her eyes for a very personal use. With a deep breath she stands up and rolls the parchment tightly and slips a ribbon around it tying it together before she walks over to Maxwell’s bed and checks on him.

 

She gently rests the back of her hand against his flushed forehead, her soft concern filled eyes scan his form trying to pick out any irregularities in the color of his skin around his wounds or the rise and fall of his chest. Feeling the slight heat emitting from under his skin she grabs a stem of elfroot and picks the leaves off before letting them fall in the water basin sitting on the bedside table. Wetting a cloth in the cool herb infused water, she lays it against his face making sure that it doesn't cover his nose or mouth. Tucking the blanket over his form firmly she grabs her shawl and the rolled up letter looking over at Ares who lies at the mouth of the fireplace gazing up at her. “You coming boy?” she asks quietly and he huffs lighty and stands up stretching before bounding after her as she exits the cabin and heads in the direction of the chantry.

 

Chatter fills the snow covered streets of Haven as scouts and townsmen alike go about their day. Shouting reaches Genevieve’s ears as she approaches the chantry and she sees a small group of men facing off against one another. “Your kind killed the most holy!” A man in Templar armor growls as he stalks towards the male mage who stands opposite of him. “Lie’s your kind let her die!” the mage fires back and the templar’s face twists in rage as he grabs for the hilt of his sword drawing it from its sheath. “Shut your mouth mage!” Genevieve gasps as the templar lunges at the other male sword positioned to inflict harm only to be stopped by Cullen who jumps between the two a hand on their chest. “Enough!” Cullen barks a hard look settled upon his face as he glanced between the two. “Knight-Captain!” the templar gasps in shock and lowers his blade as Cullen rounds on him. “That is not my title” he says in a hard tone bearing down on the younger male.

 

“We are not Templar’s any longer. We are all part of the Inquisition! I will not hear of another incident like this happening again. We are here to work together and to fight for the same cause”.

 

“And what does that entitle exactly?” Chancellor Roderick asks as he saunters through the crowd hands clasped behind his back. Cullen bristles and Genevieve slowly steps to his side making him glance briefly down at her as she gazes at the man who puffs his chest out in pride. “Back already Chancellor? Haven't you done enough?” Cullen asks as he gazes at the pompas man who now stands a few feet away from them.  

 

“I’m curious Commander, as to how your Inquisition and its “Herald” will restore order as you’ve promised” murmurs break out though the crowd and Cullen glares at Roderick hands clenching at his sides. “Of course you are” he mutters under his breath and Genevieve looks at the Chancellor. “Sir, you are demanding answers and disrespecting a man who stopped the breach of spreading and saved your’s and many others lives from the destruction of demons and rifts. If you can’t take the Herald’s ability to seal rifts as a sign that he can help restore the peace then you are as pig headed as those Chantry memberst that spout lies without proof thousands of miles away” Genevieve states and Roderick’s face twists into a scowl as he turns on her and stalks towards her in fury. “Shut your mouth Heretic! I won’t have you spouting your lies and deceiving words trying to turn everyone against the Maker!” Roderick hisses and a growl rips from Ares’ throat as his hackles raise in defence against the man making threatening gestures against his master

 

Cullen steps protectively in front of Genevieve and points a finger at Roderick’s chest stopping his advance on her “I will not have you speak to Lady Genevieve with such disrespect Chancellor. Not once did she say the Maker wasn’t real nor did she spout any words of another god to you or anyone here. I would think that a member of the Chantry would be above making false claims against an innocent. But it seems I was wrong in thinking so highly of you” Cullen spits making the crowd gasp in shock at the exchange.

 

Genevieve grasps Cullen’s hand and pulls him back trying to dissuade him from his advance on the Chancellor. “Cullen. It’s alright. Just let it go its not worth causing a fight over this. All he can do is spout words and preach untruthful dirt” she tells him softly and Cullen looks down at her gently as she looks up at him her eyes soft but barely concealing the underlining hurt from the man’s harsh words against her. “Here why don't you accompany me to Josephine’s office while I drop off this letter for her, alright?” she asks and gently tugs him into the chantry leading him down the hallway and towards Josephine’s office.

 

“Oh! Lady Scott, I heard of the alteration outside just a few moments ago. Are you alright?” Josephine flits around nervously panic and concern written upon her face.  Genevieve smiles at her and reaches out grasping her arm causing her to pause in her hasty paced steps. “I’m alright Josephine. The Commander was there and defended me and my honor” she assures and Josephine looks over at the slightly flushed man who rubs the back of his head nervously as he sees the sly smile creep onto the ambassadors face “Oh did he now?”.  At her suggestive tone Cullen clears his throat and shuffles on his feet “Well my lady I see you are in capable hands and I have things that need to be done today so I will take my leave” he announces and Genevieve looks back at him with a look of disappointment in her eyes making him cringe. “But, I would be honored if you would join me at the tavern tonight for your nightly meals” at Genevieve’s slightly shocked gaze he blanches and stumbles over his words embarrassed at his hasty request. ‘Dammit Rutherford. Now you’ve done it’ he chastises himself and clears his throat awkwardly before trying to redeem himself “Of course that is if you would like to”.

 

“I would love to Commander” she responds softly a genuine smile gracing her lips as a slight blush tints her cheeks. “Until then My Lady” Cullen smiles down at her and in a bold move grabs her hand and dips down settling a chaste kiss on her knuckles before sweeping out of the room a large grin gracing his face. “You two are so entrañable !” Josephine squeals Antivian seeping into her words as happiness shines in her eyes. “Josephine” Genevieve murmurs her cheeks darkening as the earlier blush spreads over most of her face. “Oh don't be shy. I have never seen Cullen so captivated by someone let alone actively try to woo them. será una historia de amor para morir” she says breathlessly fanning herself at the thought of their resident healer and fearless Commander engaging in romantic escapades.

 

Josephine snaps back to reality as she notices Genevieve stand there quietly a painfully embarrassed expression on her face as she plays with her limp hands trying not to look at her. “Oh lady Scott. I’m sorry, I shouldn't tease like that. It was unbecoming of me to do so. It’s just that I have never seen him so light hearted. You bring out emotions that I amongst the rest of the Inquisition thought did not exist in him. It’s a good thing though, your helping him heal. You make him seem almost like the rest of us, human” Josephine explains and Genevieve looks up shyly at her as she takes ahold of her hands. “It’s alright Josephine. I understand enough to get an idea of what you mean”.

 

“Alright. Now what did you come to see me about?” Josephine asks and Genevieve grabs the scrolls attached to her belt and hands them to her. “I brought you those lists that you asked me to make for you” she tells her and Josephine reads over them oding until she gets to the personalized one. “Genevieve, this list is almost identical to the first one. The only thing I can see that’s different is the oil paints. You do know you don't have to pay for these things since they are for your medical use?” she says and Genevieve sighs nodding her head abashed. “I couldn't think of anything I would like for personal use” she admits quietly and Josephine looks at her softly. “Its okay my lady. I will get these things ordered for you. By the way your new quarters should be done within the next eve. You picked fine lodging plans, Haven’s people are very fortunate to have you there to care for them” Josephine remarks writing down a report for Leliana on the new items that need to be added to this list. “Josephine” Genevieve’s timid voice makes her look up to see a hesitant look on her face as she looks over at her. “Yes Genevieve?” she inquires a patient look on her face. “Would you maybe do my hair. If your not to busy with other important things” she asks and Josephine smiles widely at her. “Of course! I would love to. Lets see what we can do here” she says and walks over to her ushering her to sit down on one of the chairs beside her desk.

 

Josephine runs her fingers through Genevieve’s auburn locks and marvels at its softness. “You have beautiful hair my lady” she gushes and Genevieve giggles at the woman’s obsession “Thank you Josephine. I think yours is lovely as well”.

 

“Genevieve, if I may be so bold as to ask, do you like the Commander?” Josephine asks and Genevieve stills her breathing barely coming out at the sudden shock to her question. “I’m sorry. I had no right to ask such a personal question” Josephine hastily murmurs and Genevieve sighs her shoulders slumping as she leans against the back of the chair for support. “No. Your alright Josephine. To answer your question, yes I do. I like him very much so” Genevieve confesses and Josephine stills in her work only for a moment before continuing. “Why don't you say anything to him? He clearly likes you back” Josephine sighs as she thinks about the two people she has come to think of as friends skirting around each other forever. “I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I allow myself to act on my feelings that it will leave my heart vulnerable and that I’ll get hurt again” Genevieve divulges and Josephine finishes the half up half down hairstyle and walks around to face Genevieve before grabbing her hands and squeezing them. “I don't know what has happened in your past that haunts you so, Genevieve. But know this, that man would rather throw himself off the Frostback mountains or dive head first into a hoard of darkspawn than intentionally hurt you. Don't let your fear hold you back from experiencing something as precious as love. no cometas los mismos errores que yo hice ” she murmurs sadly a very deep and old pain blossoming in her eyes.

 

Genevieve looks at her confused as Josephine stands up and grabs a large thin box from on top of a chest behind her desk and hands it to her. Genevieve looks up in shock as Josephine schools her expression and smiles at her “I had this made for you when Cullen asked for me to get a shawl made to replace your cloak. It matches the shawl so you can wear it whenever you’d like. It should make it easier to get around especially since you’ll be having patients here pretty soon”.

 

Genevieve opens the box to see a silver colored dress like outfit that has two hip length slits in the front revealing the lighter colored tights and leather wrapped boots that she would wear under them. The top of elegantly decorated in leaf and swirl designs made with carved abalone in the waist that stretches up under the bust. The neck line is cut so it plunges down but has two clasps that pins them together and fastens to a detachable hood. The straps that act as sleeves are made of onyx and the left hand has a bracelet that you wrap around the wrist up the arm. “Its beautiful Josephine” she gasps and runs her fingers over the shimmery silk fabric. “I had it enchanted so it would stay clean and those clasps can hook onto your shawl so you can use that with it as well” josephine then squeals and claps her hands excitedly ushering Genevieve behind her changing screen “Ohh try it on. I want to be the first to see you in it”.

 

Genevieve shyly steps behind the screen and starts to get changed into her new outfit. As she tries to button up the back of the outfit she realizes she can’t clasp the hooks together without another set of hands. Biting her lip she tries to settle her nerves before calling out “Josephine I can’t clasp the back, could you help me?”.

 

“Oh I should have thought of that! I’m so sorry Genevieve” Josephine scuttles quickly behind the screen and her eyes widen at the sight of Genevieve standing there. “My lady, you're so beautiful” she breathlessly whispers in awe and Genevieve blushes at her compliment shuffling on her feet awkwardly. “Josephine, I’m still undressed” she quietly murmurs and Josephine nods and busy’s herself with the clasps. As she finishes Josephine leans up to Genevieve’s ear “Your dashing Commamber won't be able to keep his eyes off of you tonight” she whispers and giggles as Genevieve turns bright red.

 

“Where you going Songbird?” Varric’s voice travels over the path and Genevieve see him headed towards her with Solas trailing slightly behind him. “Varric, I was just headed to the Tavern to go eat. The Commander invited me to have this evening's meal with him” she tells him and Varric raises an eyebrow at that.

 

“Oh really? Seems Curly finally grew a pair! Good for him. I’ll join you since we are headed the same way. Come on Chuckles you should join us” Varric says and Solas looks at the two hesitantly but sighs making Varric grin wildly. The three finish the short trek up to the Tavern and they step in the warmth and chatter within instantly greeting them. Genevieve looks around her eyes eagerly scanning the crowd for familiar golden hair and matching eyes. Her face drops slightly as she doesn't see him and Varric sighs noticing her crestfallen expression. “He must be running late. Come one Songbird lets go sit down and we’ll wait for him together” Varric tells her and grabs her hand leading her over to a open table next to a window and close to the door. “Hey Lady Genevieve. What can I get for you today?” Flissa asks as she stops by the table a notepad in her hand. “I’ll take something small I’m still waiting for someone” she tells her and Flissa nods scurrying off behind the bar. “So Genevieve how has your stay in Haven been so far?” Solas speaks up trying to start a conversation to lighten the sullen mood. “It’s been good. Everyone here has been so supportive and I appreciate all the help I can get” she tells him and Varric laughs. “Our Songbird here will need that help especially with her healer’s cabin almost finished. She’s going to be a busy bird here pretty soon” Varric comments and takes a drink from his tankard. “Oh it won’t be so bad. Everyone here seems to be in good health. The only thing we have to worry about is the small things like the cold or minor injuries that can be caused by people going about their everyday lives” she assures and Solas smiles nodding at her. “Of course I also heard that when the Herald wakes up the advisors will be sending us to the Hinterlands to get into contact with Mother Giselle. So even then you’ll have an extra healer to help you with the minor things” Solas adds his blue grey eyes studying Genevieve intently taking note of the dark circles under slightly puffy her eyes. “My lady, have you been sleeping well?” he finally asks and Genevieve looks at him shocked. Sighing she looks down to watch the steam rise from the fresh mug of cider that Flissa handed her not moments ago. “No. I usually go into a light sleep so I can be aware of my surroundings in case Maxwell needs me. And even if I do go into a deeper sleep it’s plagued with nightmares of what happened after the breach appeared. I wonder if I could have saved more lives than I did if I had just known how to properly defend myself. I put a lot of people at risk with my ignorance and it bothers me” she confesses unable to meet the eyes of her companions. Varric lets out a sad sigh and reaches across the table grasping her hand and giving it a comforting squeeze “Don't worry Songbird. You did the best you could under the circumstances. And if you really wanted it, you could ask Cullen to teach you how to defend yourself. But trust me, as long as you’re here you are safe. There are many people that would defend you at any given moment and from anything. Chuckles and I are amongst them but I think your biggest protector is Curly” Varric tells her and Genevieve lifts her head up to look at him in confusion “What do you mean?”.

“I don't know if you’ve noticed but Cullen is around you quite often. If he’s not hovering around you he’s watching you from afar. He’s become very adept at holding a conversation but still being aware of your presence. That man is clearly hell bent on making sure you are well protected Songbird” Varric informs her and she listens to him rattle on with wide shocked eyes. “Varric is right Genevieve. Cullen may be an ex-templar but I would trust him with your safety over anyone else. He is wholly devoted to you, although he may not even realise it he becomes that of a lion, on guard and ready to defend his mate at the first sign of danger” Solas adds his input a sly smirk on his face as he watches Genevieve go bright red. “If that were the case where is he?” she murmurs sullenly looking down trying to hide the hurt that blossoms in her eyes. “I don't know Songbird but I’m sure wherever he is he has a good reason not to be here” Varric reassures her and she nods.

 

“Why don't you go to him yourself my lady. He was last seen in his tent and Rylen hasn't seen him come out since” Flissa suggests and Genevieve looks up at her concern replacing the hurt. “When was he last seen?” she inquires and Flissa taps her fingers on her clipboard. “About four bells before you came in. Some of the recruits were talking about how he seemed a bit off this afternoon but then again they were full of ale at the time” she comments looking of to the side. Genevieve hastily gets up grabbing her satchel and heads towards the  “Where you going songbird?” Varric calls. “To Cullen’s tent. I should have noticed earlier that something was wrong. I’ll be back” she answers and sweeps out the door hurrying across the training yard towards the lone tent off to the side. As she nears the tents entrance she hears labored breathing and holds her breath worry coursing through her. “Commander?” she calls out quietly and a moment of stilled silence answers her before a thud echo’s out from inside the tent making her throw caution to the wind and enter the tent.

 

Genevieve gasps as she see’s Cullen hunched over his desk sweat glistening on his unnaturally flushed forehead. Hurrying over to him she kneels down next to him and gently touches his shoulder “Cullen” she murmurs and his eyes flutter open at the sound of her voice his eyes widening in shock. “Gen-Genevieve. What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here” he gasps wincing as another temor of pain flashes through his head. “Shh, Cullen. Let me help you, please” she pleads and he slumps his body losing all its resistance. Genevieve grabs at a vial locked onto her belt and presses it to his lips. He drinks it greedily and she sets it down grabbing a smaller flat dish and unscrews the top smearing a salve mixture of Embruim and Elfroot on her fingertips then massaging it into his temples and the base of his skull. “I’m so sorry” he whispers weakly and she hushes him running her fingers through his hair soothingly. “Don't be Cullen. You would have been there if you hadn't fell ill. I’m just worried about you” she coos and he leans into her soft touch. “Your hands are Maker sent” he then looks up at her through tired hooded eyes “You are a gift from the Maker. One I don't deserve”.

Genevieve looks down at him in shocked silence. She cradles his head in her hands and lightly places a chaste kiss on his forehead. The muscles in his forehead jump and tense up making her pull away slightly only to be stopped by a hand grasping the side of her neck. A gloved thumb caresses her pulse point which she is thankful for the barrier since her heart is beating rapidly in her chest. Cullen’s other arm snakes around her waist and pulls her closer so he can rest his head against her stomach as she just holds him continuing to run her fingers through his hair in an attempt to sooth his headache.  

“Are you alright now, Commander?” Genevieve asks as he pulls away and stands. He looks at her and holds out his hand to help her up “Yes, I am my lady thanks to you” he wraps and arm around her waist to steady her and she lays her hands on his shoulders staring into his eyes. Cullen clears his throat and she steps back hastily smoothing the skirt of her dress and intertwining her fingers to keep from fiddling with them nervously as they head through the towns desolate streets. “Let me walk you back. It’s the least I can do since tonight was a total disaster” he says and she looks up at him before taking his hand in hers as they reach her front door. “It wasn’t that bad Commander. I thought it was nice. Besides the part where you were in pain” she mumbles looking away shyly. Cullen reaches up and runs his knuckles over her cheek before grabbing her chin and turning her face to him. “But maker you are beautiful” he whispers and leans down brushing his lips over the corner of hers. Genevieve inhales softly and Cullen pulls back to gaze into her wide eyes. Tucking a loose curl behind her ear he smiles at her gently before pulling away completely. “Goodnight Genevieve” he bows and turns walking away leaving her stunned and leaning against the doorframe breathlessly.  

 

After a few moments she smiles and enters her cabin. In the dim candle light she takes off her shawl and lays it on the chair next to the doorway before turning around. A scream rips from her throat as she see’s apollo’s mangled form lying in the middle of the floor drenched in blood. A creak from behind her sends her running towards the Maxwells still form when a hand wraps around her hair and yanks her back. Genevieve spins around to face her attacker and dead grey eyes stare at her through the slit of a mask. She starts to struggle as she sees the unmistakable glint of a dagger and  a grunt rips from her assailant as a large hand wraps around her neck and pins her against the desk. Genevieve chokes out a strangled cry and digs her nails into the man wrist as she kicks at his legs doing everything in her power to get away from the knife that hovers just a breath away from her exposed neck. Black dots fill her vision and in a desperate attempt she grabs at the desk top her fingers wrapping around the cool metal of her herb cutters and strikes out at him. The man cries out in pained surprise as the blade catches his chest and pain blossoms through her asas the knife Knicks the tender flesh of her neck. The assassin jerks back and Genevieve with the last of her quickly diminishing  strength lunches forward and buries the shears into the assassins chest and lands on top of his now still form.

 

Rolling herself onto her back Genevieve faintly hears barking over the white noise roaring in her ears and the door bursts open as Cullen rushes in sword raised. His eyes widen as he sees her lying on the ground next to a dead man. Dropping his sword he kneels down and pulls her limp form into his arms. “Genevieve, Genevieve! Stay with me my lady” he murmurs and her eyes try to focus on his as he turns her to face him. “Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the Light. I shall weather the storm. I shall endure. What you have created, no one can tear asunder” he whispers softly to her petting her hair as shudders of breath erupt from her bloody lips. Laying his forehead against hers he continues praying not noticing as Solas enters the cabin with a few guards. “Commander I need you to let go of her” Solas murmurs quietly and Cullen lifts his head glaring at the man “I need to give her a healing potion before the damage becomes permanent”.

 

“No! I'll give it to her” he hisses and takes the potion gently bringing it to her lips and coaxing her to drink it. “Shh Sweetling. This will help you” he coos as she whimpers and he picks her up walking over to the bed and laying her down. “Ralyn. Get someone to clean this up and I want guards posted outside the cabin at all times. I'm going to go get Leliana and see if she can't figure out what went wrong because this should have never happened” he calmly states and goes to leave but a weak hand halts his motion. He looks down to see Genevieve looking up at him her gaze pleading and slightly panicked. “please” a choked whimper escapes her and he sighs slipping his arms under her legs and around her shoulders lifting her up as he skids under her.  He lays her back down cracandlelight I dling her to his chest before covering their bodies with the thick fur blanket. “it'll be alright. I've got you My lady.  I won't let anyone hurt you” he whispers and kisses the top of her head before gazing at the flickering flame of the candle.



Chapter Text

Just a quick authors note that I felt needed its own chapter. This book is still in progress of being written so don't worry even though it has been a while since the last update. I am just busy with school and other books on this site that both will be slow to update. Usually, it will take a month to finish one chapter that's about an average of seven pages and 3000+ words. It may not seem like a lot of work but with my schedule its the fastest I can upload. But here pretty soon I will try to get more done so now I will hopefully be able to post a chapter for this book and the other one at around my average length stated above each month. It will take some work but that's my goal. Thank you so much for your patience and willingness to keep reading my book. Next chapter is now under construction so keep an eye out for the next update. 

 


 For the other book, I mentioned in this note the link to it is below. 

~Of Doves & Steel~

Fallout 4 

Arthur Maxson/Female Soul Survivor~ Relationship,

https://archiveofourown.org/works/14823755/chapters/34304630


 

Chapter Text

As the sun starts to filter through the open window next to the bed Cullen looks down at Genevieve who slumbers quietly up against his side. A soft smile adorns his face as he runs his fingers through her hair gently combing out tangles as he goes. A soft sigh escapes her lips halting his movements. He watches her face crinkle up before her eyes open and slowly lands on his face “Cullen?” she murmurs her voice soft with sleep. “How are you doing, sweetling?” he asks continuing to brush the hair away from her face. “I ache” she responds her face tightening in sadness as Cullen sighs. “Did this really happen? Is Apollo really dead?”

 

“I’m afraid so, sweetling. It seems that when the assassin entered the cabin Apollo tried to protect Maxwell and that resulted in his death. I’m so sorry Evie” he consoles her as she whimpers tears trailing down her cheeks. “Ares,” she asks worry evident in her voice. “He’s fine and with Rylen right now. If you would like I can take you to him” he offers slipping out of the bed to grab his armor. Genevieve sits up and watches him as he straps on his chest plate over his underclothes, curiously watching every move he makes. Throwing the blankets off her she looks around for her shawl and sees it sitting on the chair dried blood tainting the colors. She stumbles lifting her hand to cover her mouth as she stares at it tears in her eyes. Cullen's hands grasp onto her arms steadying her as he gazes at her in concern “Genevieve, are you okay?”

 

She looks up at him and his face softens “I didn't take care of the shawl as I promised. Its ruined Cullen” she tells him looking back over at the shawl.

 

Cullen grasps her face with his hands, turning her so she stares at him “Oh Sweetling. I don't care that the shawl is ruined. All I really care about is that you are okay. That shawl can be easily replaced but you can’t” he tells her caressing her cheek with his thumb as he stares into her wet eyes “Let's get you dressed so I can take you to Ares”.

 

Cullen walks over to the wall where a grey Fur lined cloak hangs on a hook and helps Genevieve slip her arms into it. Tugging it towards him he starts to button up the front until it conceals her form before helping her lace up her boots. Cullen kisses her cheek sweetly before opening the door and stepping out into the lightly falling snow holding his hand out to her. Fingers brushing together she takes ahold of his hand and hooks her arm through his, before following him out towards the training grounds. As they step through the front gates barking greets Genevieve and she looks up to see Ares bounding towards her.

 

“Ares” she whispers happily and drops to her knees wrapping her arms around his thick neck burying her face in his coarse fur. Tears stream down her face as he nuzzles her neck back leaving wet sloppy kisses on her skin. As she finds comfort in Ares’ attention Cullen stands back and watches his heart aching as he feels for her, knowing the loss she has suffered and the grief she must feel. “You like her” Rylen states as he comes to stand by his Commander and friend. “Is it that obvious?” Cullen asks rubbing the back of his head as red tinges his cheeks slightly. “To everyone but her, it seems,” he tells him his gaze moving from her to Cullen worry in his eyes “I heard what happened last night. How is she handling it?”

 

The best she can under the circumstances. I’m surprised she hasn't had a major breakdown yet. She took a man’s life and lost a loved one. And I know for a fact that she has never killed and from what Varric told me she doesn't seem to remember any family so I don't think she has experienced such loss before” he says crossing his arms over his chest plate as he watches the bittersweet reunion of the woman he has come to care about and the dog that has stayed her faithful companion through everything.

 

Genevieve sits on the wall overlooking the recruits training below as she hums softly along to the tavern music that wafts through the chilly air. She squints as she tries to transfer every detail below to the paper on her lap through delicately drawn lines of coal. “My lady do you have a moment?”. Genevieve turns at the sudden voice and sees ’s Leliana standing behind her hands clasped behind her back her blue eyes gazing at her critically from under the white hood. “Lady Leliana, of course. What is it you needed?” Genevieve inquires as she clumsily stumbles to her feet brushing the snow from her skirts. “I have information on the man that attacked you last night and I thought you would like to know why he did so”.

 

“Oh,” Genevieve fidgets under Leliana’s cold gaze feeling like a rabbit that crossed to close to a wolf’s path. “Turns out he’s part of a group of assassins. We discovered a contract on his person that stated you were to be taken” Leliana looks out over the valley below her posture relaxed as she continues “Where you were to be taken and to who is still a mystery but I have my scouts searching for anything more we can learn about this attack.”

 

Genevieve looks over at Leliana her body tense with anxiety in the presence of such a cold person. Even devastatingly beautiful as she was, there was a ice like grace to her that could cut down even the strongest of men. That being just one of many reminders of how dangerous this woman could turn in a blink of an eye. “Was there anything else, my lady?”

 

Leliana turns to look at her mulling over the question for a moment before responding “Yes, actually. Lady healer I have watched you for quite some, ever time since your arrival here actually. You are very nimble on your feet and to be blunt, you are not as weak as you may believe you are. If you would consider it, I would train you to fight like a rouge. You would learn to wield a blade, travel through shadows unnoticed and set traps. All of this can help protect you from any other potential ‘predators’ that may think you easy prey.”

 

Genevieve stands there shocked at Leliana’s offer her mind slow to process what all that offer entitles. “Lady Leliana, I couldn’t possibly accomplish any of that. I have no history or experience with combat let alone the ability to accomplish such skills. Besides, I am a healer. I am meant to help others not hurt them. So I will have to refuse your request my lady” Genevieve tells her and Leliana looks at her for a while thoughtfully. “My lady, you have been given a second chance, something not many people get. You could be anything and anyone without the burden of the past. I suggest you think about what you want to do with this gift” at this Leliana bids her farewell and leaves Genevieve to her thoughts.

  


As the sun starts to fall towards the west and the soldiers head towards the tavern to enjoy their time off, Genevieve makes her way towards the abandoned training grounds and slides the twin daggers out of their sheaths twirling them with a familiarity that she herself didn’t know she had. ‘You are stronger than you know, daughter of nature. You may be a healer but even the gentlest of beings can fight with honor and dignity’ a soft voice whispers on the wind tickling her senses. Her eyes snap open and she attacks the dummy with speed and precision. Sharp eyes watch from the shadows at this turn in events, Leliana’s blue eyes watch Genevieve’s movements with intrigue noticing that she is acting unconsciously. Like her skill is from muscle memory and not a known ability. After a good hour, Genevieve slumps to the ground her body shaking as the adrenalin finally works its way out of her system and is replaced with fatigue and anguish. “Who was I?” she whimpers her voice lost to the wind and a third set of footsteps echo across the frozen scape. A large thick cloak is laid across her hunched shoulders as Cullen kneels down next to her his hands on her shoulders as he checks on her. Leliana watches with a softened gaze as the Commander leans down and whispers something into the healer's ear before kissing the side of her head. Flashes of her time with the hero of Fereldan play behind her eyes and she shakes them away hardening her heart to the pain. Her eyes settle on the couple, only staying to watch Cullen pick Genevieve up then taking her leave disappearing in the shadows.

 

Chapter Text

“Well look who’s finally awake” Varric’s chipper voice brings Maxwell’s attention to the entrance of the cabin where the author and rouge stands slightly leaning up against the doorframe. Max groans and pulls himself to a sitting position, rubbing his head as he looks around and takes in the room. It's quaint but homey. A second bed sits across from his separated by a bedside table that has a water dish and a candle on it. A basket of herbs sits against it with a set of towels draped over the handles. “How long have I been out?” he finally asks voice cracking with the dryness in his throat. “Oh, I’d say a good five days. You’ve had Songbird in such a tizzy on top of everything else that has happened” Varric comments stepping into the room shifting Bianca onto his back. “What do you mean? Where is Genevieve? What happened while I was out?” Maxwell demands his eyes blown wide with panic. “Easy now. Genevieve is currently training with Leliana, as she has been for the last two days. As for what happened while you were out, an assassin tried and failed to kill Songbird. He did get Apollo though, that broke her heart. Other than that her time was spent taking care of you and starting a possible relationship with our strapping Commander” Varric tells him and Max groans leaning back against the pile of pillows. “I was hoping it was my imagination playing tricks” he murmurs head snapping up as Varric lets out a deep bellowing laugh. “Oh no, Herald. The Commander has it bad for our resident healer. And our healer has no idea but is starting to feel the same. It's a funny thing to behold” Varric explains and sighs. ‘Great’ he thinks and looks out the window.


“Again” Leliana commands calmly as she stares down Genevieve who pants, a thin layer of sweat coating her skin. Wisps of damp hair cling to her flushed face and she pulls herself up to a standing position again tightly gripping her twin daggers determination glinting in her eyes. She goes at Leliana again slashing at her, which she deflects every time. After a few minutes, her daggers go flying and she groans as the tip of Leliana’s blade points at her throat. “You have speed and reflexes Lady Genevieve but you lack confidence and muscle. Think where you are going to strike before you do. Always have multiple maneuvers ready and plan ahead. You need to be five steps ahead of your enemy if you hope to be the one to come out on top” Leliana instructs and Genevieve nods looking down. “It will take time. Do not discourage, no one can fight perfectly. It takes years to master any form of combat”.

 

“But I don't have years, Sister Leliana” Genevieve murmurs looking back up at her. “No, you do not” Leliana softly says and gazes at her intrigued “But you learn fast. Faster than anyone I have met, and you have an advantage others do not. You have knowledge of handling blades. Knowledge you yourself do not know you have. Whoever you were before Haven may be lost but your muscles still remember the technique. You are very precise in your swings most of the time, but you doubt yourself and your skill suffers from it. Learn to trust your decisions and you can be the greatest rouge there is. Now I think that's enough for today. You seem to have an audience requiring your attention. I will see you tomorrow at the same time”


Genevieve looks behind her and see’s the so-called audience grouped there. Josephine shuffles in the snow with Cullen standing beside her looking nervous. Varric stands a ways away from the two with Maxwell at his side. Genevieve’s eyes widen as she sees Max who looks back at her amused and a hint of pride in his eyes. She drops her daggers and rushes towards him throwing her arms around his neck hugging him tightly. “Maxwell! You're awake” she exclaims tears leaking from her tightly closed eyes. “Hey, Evie” he mutters into her hair smiling softly. He pulls back and looks her over a smirk creeping onto his face “Look at you. All sweaty and dirty. I never thought I’d see the day when you got any dirt on you” Max teases her and she rolls her eyes shoving him lightly failing at keeping the smile off her face. “My Lady Genevieve, I came to take you to the new healer's cabin. It was finished last night. Of course, the Commander insisted he come along despite any reassurances” Josephine sends a pointed look at him and Cullen has the decency to look a bit abashed. “It was totally justified. My men are doing work there, and If we are to have a guard route out there I should be aware of the surrounding environment” Cullen defends himself arms crossed over his chest a slight scowl twisting his lips. “I’m sure that's why” Josephine mutters under her breath making Cullen glares at her making Max chuckle at the two. Genevieve steps forward a bright smile on her face as she looks at Cullen “Well, either way, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to come out here. It means a lot to me” Cullen’s face softens into a smile as he looks at Genevieve. Max narrows his eyes at the two seeing more proof that there could very well be something between the two in the future if left unchecked. A swift elbow to the gut snaps him out of his thoughts of sabotage. “Don't even think about it, Knight. They are good for each other. He would rather die than hurt her and if you try to ruin anything from blossoming then you would be hurting her. Let it be, and if by some wild chance he does hurt her you can bet myself and many others will be there to protect her” Varric says under his breath and Max glares at him but sighs realizing he could only do more damage if he interferes. He watches as Cullen holds out his arm to her and she smiles brightly hooking her arm with his. Max watches them walk towards the direction of the cabin. “You love her, don't you?” Varric says and Max glances at him from the corner of his eye “I’ll let you in on a little secret, Varric. I do love her with every fiber of my being, I just don't swing that way” Maxwell tells him and walks off without looking at Varric. Varric watches his retreating form shocked before he chuckles a smirk plastered on his face and jogs to catch up with the group.

 

“As the Commander mentioned, I had his soldiers help with the majority of the heavy lifting. Especially when it came to furnishing your loft. But I also had them dig garden beds at the back so you may grow some herbs there as well” Josephine tells her as they approach the small cabin. Genevieve’s eyes widen at the sight her mind turning at how different it looks. Windows now sit within the walls of the wooden cabin, intricately carved in an almost identical design to the ones in the cabin she has stayed in since her arrival. Shutters sit on each side of the opening designs of mabari’s and herbs painting it. A lantern hands on the outside next to the door giving off a welcoming glow. “Well, don't just stand there. Go on in and check it out my lady” Josephine ushers her into the cabin and smiles proudly as Genevieve looks around in awe. Beds line the walls separated by a new staircase leading up to her quarters with a fireplace against the wall directly behind it. Off in the side room, the upper walls are lined with shelves stocked to the brim with glass jars of herbs and empty vials for tonics and salves. A large table sits on the far wall piled with potion making supplies and journals. More cabinetry lines the remaining wall space for storage and lanterns give off the same inviting glow from outside. Grabbing onto the stairs railing she enters the loft area where a large bed sits in the middle of the wall piled high with blankets and furs, and additional fur bed sits next to it which she assumes is for Ares. A wardrobe, desk, chest, nightstand and a table with a set of chairs sat in front of a large window overlooking the backyard of the cabin are the only additional furniture up there. But despite the quaint furnishings joy fills her heart as she finally has a space to call her own. “Oh Josie, this is wonderful. More than I could have ever imagined. Thank you so much” wiping her eyes she pulls Josephine into a hug making the woman smile as she rubs her back soothingly. “Gennie, you deserve this. You have been a major help to the Inquisition. This is the least we could do” she tells her and Genevieve pulls back smiling brightly at her. “There will be a guard rotation out here as well my lady. And a permanent guard will be stationed outside the front door during the night. You should be safe here” Cullen says arms behind his back as he looks down at Genevieve. She looks up at him her eyes shining and a smile plastered on her face.

 

~*~

 

“Have dinner with me tonight?” Cullen says quickly, wincing at the random question. Genevieve's head snaps up from the paper covered desk to see Cullen standing in the doorway sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck. She smiles at him and he eases up giving her a smile of his own “Of course I will. I think the tavern is serving ram tonight”

“I was actually thinking of having it in my tent. If you would like to, that is” Cullen takes a step into the room taking in the drying herbs and papers messily scattered across every surface. “I would love that, Cullen” she gives him a breathtaking smile making his heart swell with affection at her pure beauty. “Good,” he says without thinking still struck by her, his eyes widening when he realizes his words “Oh, Maker. I apologize my lady” he stammers out hand flying back to rub the back of his neck as he always does when nervous or embarrassed. Genevieve giggles at his stammering “Would you like to walk me to Haven, Commander? I have a few errands to run before I can come over to your tent for our meal” she tells him grabbing her cloak and clasping it around her shoulders. “Of course my lady” he murmurs and bows holding a hand out to her with a sly smirk on his face. Her eyes narrow playfully as she takes his hand “Your up to something, Commander” she says as he leads her out of the cabin. “Perish the thought, Lady healer. Is it a crime to be happy at the fact that I have such a lovely lady on my arm?” he asks looking down at her his sun-gold eyes filled with amusement and laughter as a blush spreads across her nose and over her cheeks. “Did you know, Lady Healer that when you blush it travels from your nose to the tips of your ears in an endearing shade of pink?” he asks his gloved hand reaching up and tucking a russet colored strand of hair behind her ear revealing the pink-tinged tip. “Now you are just doing it for your amusement, Commander” she grumbles her eyes alight with joy as she looks at him. “How could I not? It brings me a special kind of joy seeing a woman like yourself blush. Especially when you do it so easily” he tells her making her laugh at his words, her blush deepening. As they near the chantry raised voices can from within the war room.

 

Cullen sighs “Seems Roderick is at it again. Why don't you wait out here and I’ll get Josephine for you.”

 

Genevieve nods and he opens the door disappearing as the door shuts. Moments later after his voice joins the argument Chancellor Roderick storms out almost knocking Genevieve over as he glares at anything and anyone in his path. “Oh, My lady! Are you alright?” Josephine’s voice asks as she grasps onto her shoulders steadying her. “Yes, Josie. I’m okay, and I thought I told you to stop calling me that? We are friends are we not?” Genevieve asks and Josephine smiles softly at her. “Of course, Gennie. How silly of me to have forgotten. Now the Commander has told me you wanted to speak with me?” she asks as they step into her office.

 

“Yes. Um I remember you saying that I didn't spend any of my pay on myself and I was wondering how much I have to spend exactly?” Genevieve asks her hands wringing together nervously. “Ah, yes. Well, you still have your pay for this last week. But you also have an additional income as well, courtesy of the Herald” Josephine tells her.

 

“What do you mean?” Genevieve asks her eyes wide as she stares at her friend.

 

“Well, the Herald has demanded you get a third of his pay as well. He has stated that he won't need to use the full of it and as his sister he wanted it to go to you to help support you while he is away” she explains watching Genevieve carefully as she collapses on the chair tears in her eyes.

 

“But, I’m not really his sister Josie. How could I take his earnings under the guise of her when I’m not? He should be sending it back to his real family, not wasting it on the likes of me” Genevieve whimpers a tear running down her cheek.  

 

“Lady Genevieve. Gennie, Lord Trevelyan is the last of his line. His uncle was the last living relative he had and when he died everything went to him. Besides that, he was actually adopted so maybe you could be his sister. You two do look so much alike and with you not knowing your past and him not knowing his real blood relatives there could be a possibility that you are related somehow. Not that we can announce that, so we have just been telling everyone you are his sister, at his request of course” Josephine tells her and Genevieve nods drying her eyes with her cloak. “Now what did you want of me other than inquiring about funds?”

 

“I was wondering if it were possible to order a few things so I might be able to make soap. I would like to have a few things for personal use when I’m not working. I would also like your help in coming up with a list” Genevieve tells her causing Josephine's eyes to light up. “Oh, of course! I would love to help you with this Gennie. Herbs will be a must. Maybe we could get you some makeup, bath oils as well since you have a bath in your cabin. Creams as well, maybe perfumes” Genevieve smiles as she listens to Josephine babble on about the various personal care products that she would need and how she has the perfect contacts to order them from. Warmth fills her chest as she thinks about her the new family she has gained since arriving here. She has a brother that would do anything for her, Varric who is like an uncle who teases and comforts her when she needs it. Cassandra is like the overbearing mother who always gets on her for not eating or overworking herself. Solas is like the silent father who is always willing to give guidance and eagerly shares his vast knowledge with her anytime she asks. Leliana is like an older sister who pushes her to be her best but will always comfort her when she feels down or weak. Josephine is like a best friend, willing to talk clothes and girly things at any given time along with Leliana, who surprised her when she told her of her love for shoes. And then there is Cullen. A man that has been there for her when her brother was locked up. The man who protected her and comforted her when she had that awful experience with that assassin. The man who flirted with her and found every opportunity to compliment her just to see her blush. The man who she is starting to gain feelings for. Genevieve ponders over that fact. And instead of feeling anxiety she feels a wave of calm wash over her as she thinks of his laugh and the way his sun-gold eyes always hold a certain soft warmth when he looks at her. ‘Maybe I can be happy. Maybe I can let myself have this one thing in my life’ she thinks a small smile spreading across her face.

Chapter Text

Genevieve crouches down near a garden bed of Elfroot as she picks the matured leave from the stems and drops them in the basket beside her. Wisps weave in and out of the trees whispering and giggling and the tranquil sounds of nature float around her causing her mind to wander as she gets lost in the motions. As she continues to fill her basket she pauses when everything suddenly goes silent and the wisps all disappear into the forest. Standing she clutches her sheers and looks around holding her breath in hopes of hearing something. “Lost, content, but wishing for more. You have many desires, all kind but you are unable to achieve them all” a gravelly voice breaks the silence. Genevieve spins around to see a spirit standing behind her a smirk on its face. “Oh,” she exclaims her eyes wide as she stares at the spirit in shock. “You want to fight, but you are weak and don't know how. You wish to help but you cannot. I can help you. You will be able to do all the things you desire and much more” it tells her and starts to circle around her as it continues to speak “You will be strong. You will have skills unmatched to any other and power that one can only dream about. You can defeat anyone and anything but only if you just let me in can I help”

 

“I don't want power though. I don't want to defeat anyone either. I just want to be able to protect those I care about. I don't want to have unmatched skill. I just want to be stronger” she tells it, pushing down the fear she feels rising. “Why wouldn't you want those things? I offer you things you won't be able to get on your own. You can't become strong yourself. You won't be able to gain the skill I offer you with training.” the spirit coos tone soothing like a sirens call.

 

“No. I don't want any of that. I won't” Genevieve denies starting to back up as the panic and fear increases. The spirit hisses and surges forward grabbing at her face its hands turning into claws and its form twisting. “You impudent child. You won't be of use to anyone without me. You are worthless without what I offer. Let me in. Let me know you and we will become what we were always meant to be” it hisses in her ear making Genevieve whimper as tears fall down her cheeks.

 

An ominous growl echoes through the woods and the spirit pauses and looks past Genevieve’s shoulder its form stiff. “Release her, demon” a deep and dark voice commands just feet from her back.

 

The spirit now demon releases her and steps back hastily as a dark black mass brushes past Genevieve and stands in front of her in a protective stance. “You will leave this one alone. She’s my kin and is protected by me. I will not let any of you harm her here” the black wolf-like mass growls and the demon screams fleeing into the darkness. Genevieve stands there painstakingly quiet as she stares at the giant wolfs back. Slowly it turns to her and her eyes widen at the six blood red eyes that stare back at her. After a few tense moments Genevieve tentatively steps forward and reaches out a hand to the wolf. The wolf flinches back making her hesitate but when she sees that he isn't going to move again she touches his snout giggling at the pleased rumble that escapes him. “You are not afraid, Da’len?” he asks and she shakes her head and continues to brush her fingers through the silky soft fur of his face. “You should be” he growls and she pauses in her motions and eyes him curiously. “Why should I? You just claimed me under your protection. You saved me from a being who wanted to harm me. Why would I fear something that has only protected me?” she asks taking a step back as the giant wolf stands up towering over her. “Because I am known to the Dalish as Fen’harel. The god of betrayal, lies, and trickery. I could be tricking you and leading you to your demise and you would willingly follow because of this one act?” he asks and suppressed a gasp as she hugs him snuggling into his chest whispering “Yes, I would”

 

Warmth floods through the old god's chest and he leans his head down and curls around her small form, nuzzling into her neck. “You have nothing to fear of me, Da’len. As long as you are here in the Fade you have my protection. You are safe here, but it is time for you to wake up Da’len. There are things you need to attend to in the waking world” he tells her and she pulls back to look up at him as the dream swirls around them and they wake up.



Solas sits up quickly in his bedroll as Varric shakes him. “You okay there Chuckles?” he asks voice concerned as he looks at him. “Yes, Master Tethras. I am well. Is it my turn to take watch?” Solas asks and at Varric’s nod he gets up and settles next to the fire. Gazing into the flames he thinks of his dream. How had a mere human who doesn't seem to have magic can be a somniari ? And how did she gain the wolfs favor enough to even be called his kin? Solas has never been approached with such familiarity and acceptance from anyone when he was Fen’harel and for this human to brazenly accept him made him confused. She and the Herald shared the same aura as if they were truly kin, but what confused him the most was the fact that they both have the soul of an ancient elf from Arlathan. ‘You have secrets that even you do not know, Genevieve Scott.

 

~*~

 

“Lady Healer! Lady Healer!” shouts arouse Genevieve from her slumber as the door to her cabin opens and she sees a very panicked scout appear at the top of her staircase. “What is it?” she asks sitting up shivering lightly as the cool air from outside brushes against the skin left uncovered by the short white tunic that she uses as a nightgown. “A scouting group just came back and one of the men had an altercation with a druffalo. It got him in the side with its horn mistress. The Commander told us to come and get you quickly” he tells her in a rushed voice his eyes pleading as he looks at her tired form. Throwing the pile of furs and linen off her body she gets up and slips on her boots. Grabbing her dark blue overcoat and healers satchel she follows the soldier towards haven. As they come to the small camp in front of the chantry she sees many soldiers and scouts crowding the area as the Commander tries to keep everyone back. His eyes lock with hers and relief floods him “Thank the maker your here, Lady Healer” he says and ushers her through. A hand grabs her arm and she looks back to see Chancellor Roderick looking at her with a hard stare “It is his time. The maker wills it so it must happen. Let him be” he hisses quietly his expression hardening as she glares at him. “That is not for you to decide, Chancellor. I will help him and give him all the means to survive. If he does not then he will go to the Maker’s side. If he does that means it is not his time. You are not the Maker, so you cannot say for certain that he is supposed to die” she says softly with a final tone her eyes piercing into his. He releases her arm and she gazes at him for another moment before she turns to the injured man and kneels down next to him. “How long has he been like this?” she asks as she looks over the jagged edges of the pommel sized gash. “A good hour, my lady. The wound seems to be bleeding as much as it was but he’s still losing a steady amount of blood” Cullen tells her and she signs before looking up at the gathering crowd “Does anyone here have a belt or rope?”

 

“I do, my lady” Raylen says and unfastens his belt handing it to her. Smiling her thanks she slips it under the man's torso just under his sternum and fastens it tightly above the wound creating a makeshift tourniquet. As the bleeding starts to slow to a stop she cleans the wound very gently and applies an elfroot and spindleweed salve to the wound and on the surface of a few bandages before she wraps it around his abdomen and up over his shoulder. “Will he be alright, Lady healer?” the scout from earlier asks as he kneels down next to Genevieve. “He’s lucky to be alive. Any farther up and it would have punctured a kidney then there wouldn't be anything I could do without the help of a mage. For now, I will just have to keep an eye on him to make sure the wound does not get infected. Only time will tell if he will make a full recovery” she tells him before standing up. “Commander will you have some of your men transfer him to my cabin. Try not to put him to close to the fire I don't want him sweating too much unless he gets a fever” she asks and Cullen bows to her with a nod turning to a group of his men and barking out orders. Genevieve sighs and as she starts to put her stuff away a second pair of hands reach down and help her gather her stuff. She looks up to see Raylen flash her a smile as he hands her a glass vial “I’m sorry about your bet, Knight-Captain” she murmurs taking the vial from his gloved hand. Raylen laughs his head shaking as he continues to clean up “Don't worry about it Lady Genevieve. Belts are easy to replace, Scouts not so much. I also hear what you said to the Chancellor. You are pretty brave speaking to a man with the authority he has” Rylen comments watching her reaction out of the corner of his eye.  “He may have authority up in Orlais, but here the only people I obey are the advisors and my own brother. Besides no one on this planet should have the power to decide who lives and who dies. Not even the Chantry should have that authority. If the Maker wanted anyone who got sick or seriously injured to die he would not have put me or any healers on this world. I am here to help heal the sick and treat the wounded. And if even after my treatment someone dies then it was their time to go. I don't decide if someone will live or die, I just give them the help to continue living or I give them as much of a peaceful passing as I can if they don’t” she explains somberly. Raylen offers her a hand and helps her stand “You are wiser than many others could ever hope to be, Lady Genevieve. Keep that humble and patient attitude for there will be many who will try to break you down for it” he tells her and turns walking away leaving her to watch him retreat in the dim light of the rising sun.

 

“Evie, Are you okay?” Cullen's voice snaps her out of her thoughts and she looks over at him slightly startled. Sighing she smiles at him and adjusts the strap of her healer bag over her shoulder “I am alright Cullen.” Cullen returns her smile and holds out a hand to her “Would you like some company on the way back to your cabin?” he asks his soft eyes looking into her tired ones. “Yes, I would really like that” she murmurs and settles her hand into his. Cullen pulls her into his side wrapping his arm around her waist and kisses the side of her head. Genevieve snuggles into his fur coat and closes her eyes letting him guide her back to her cabin.

 

~*~

Genevieve steps back into her cabin a basket of fresh cut elfroot in had. Knocking her boots on the doorframe to let the snow fall off before she steps into the main room. Hanging her cloak on the hook attached to the wall she walks over the soldier who she found out is named Willam and checks over his bandages. As she reapplies a healing salve and rewraps it she’s interrupted by the sound of an owl hooting. Her head snaps up to the support beams above her and sees two large yellow orbs staring back at her. Getting up she climbs up the stairs to her loft she looks over the railing and gets a better view of the owl. At closer inspection she sees its a barn owl, it has a beautiful mixture of caramel, cream and grey colored feathers on its wings expanding in lighter shades up until its face which remains completely white. Even though it is such a beautiful creature Genevieve knows she can't have it stay here and climbs out onto the beams and makes her way towards the owl which coos softly watching her every move. “Shoo. Shoo birdy. You can't stay here, I’m sorry” she tells it only receiving another hoot in response. Breathing heavily as she realizes how high up she is she grasps tighter to the beam and freezes not daring to move an inch in fear of falling. “It’s okay. If you fall I will catch you” an unfamiliar voice sounds from next to her and she gasps losing her grip on the beam and slips off. Before she can even scream as the floor rushes towards her, a pair of thin arms catch her and sets her gently on the ground. Gasping in shock her eyes fly open and she sees a boy standing there his hands on her shoulders as he steadies her. Blue eyes peek out curiously from under the wide brim of a leather patchwork hat as she takes a step back. The owl lets out a hoot and swoops down from above landing on top of the boy's hat cocking its head to the side as it stares at Genevieve. “She means no harm. This was her home before the soldiers started working on it. She has a nest up there but when the men were fixing the roof they destroyed it along with her eggs. This was the last year she was going to lay them” the boy tells her his voice eerie as he speaks in an odd tone. “Oh. I’m so sorry” Genevieve gasps a hand covering her mouth as she looks at the bird sadly. “She doesn't blame you. She quite likes your presence. Light and soft. Hope and peace. You help. I want to help too” the boy says and takes a step towards her tilting his face up. “Who are you?” Genevieve asks as she wraps her arms around herself trying to ease her shaking form. “I am Cole. And you are Genevieve. You feel lost but are not. You were somewhere else but now your here where you belong. Two parts of one whole, once apart now together again. The wolf doesn't recognize the physical but feels familiarity with the spirit. He will know soon” Cole murmurs and Genevieve tilts her head and takes a step forward grasping onto the rim of his hat and pulls it off his head releasing long dirty blond locks of hair. “What are you? You don't talk like anyone I’ve ever met and you feel, different” she tells him and he looks at her. “I used to think I was a ghost. I didn't know. I made mistakes…. But I made friends too. But then a Templar proved I wasn't read. I lost my friends. I lost everything. I learned how to be more like what I am. It made me different, but stronger. I can feel more. I can help.”

 

“Yes, but what are you? Because I don't think you're quite human” she whispers clutching his hat to her chest as she watches him warily. “No. I am not. I am Compassion. I heard the hurts of many people and came to help. I saw you there, helping and have watched you since. I would like to do what you do. I want to help others. I want to help you. Lost. I don't know who I am. Can't remember anything. When will I find out who I really am?” he says and Genevieve shudders her eyes wide as she realizes he’s speaking about her. “Your a spirit” she states and he nods. “Okay. I would appreciate the help. But I need you to promise me that you will listen to what I tell you to do. And you won’t do something to an injured person unless I approve. Can you do that?”  

 

Cole looks at her and nods. Genevieve lets out a breath and hands him his hat giving him a small smile. Cole puts it back on and tilts his head to the side “The owl wishes to stay. She likes the aura you give off. She promises to stay out of the way if you just let her remain here” he tells her. Genevieve looks over at the owl that perches quietly on the back of a chair and sighs before she gets an idea. “Cole, do you think she will be able to deliver some things for me?” she inquires as she gazes at the bird.

 

Chapter Text

~*~               ~*~

Dear Evie,

By the time you get this letter, I will be well on my way home so I hope this reaches you relatively soon. Some of the things inside the oversized chest accompanying it are I assume time sensitive since I am no expert on herbs. Other than that I am glad things have been quiet on your end. It's been awfully dreadful in the Hinterlands with all the fighting that's been going on. Between the Templars and the mages fighting and Cassandra constantly down Varrics throat I may just ‘accidentally’ wander off and get mauled by a bear. I finally reached Master Dennets farm and it seems I will need to complete a few tasks for him before he considers sending us mounts. With all the work I’ve been doing for Master Dennet I expect the best. I hope you can ride because I’ve negotiated a suitable mount for you. I think you will like her, she’s a beautiful dappled gray mare and is, in my opinion, the perfect temperament for you. Other than that I’ve helped out the locals, can you believe I had to find a druffalo and lead it back to its owner?. A druffalo Evie! By the time this is all over I’ll be known as ‘The Herald Of Andraste, the savior of the world and lost Druffalo’s!  By the by, when did you get an owl as your messenger bird? Because I know for a fact that Sister Leliana did not give you that. She’s all about murder and ravens especially the murder parts she’s very stabby that one. I don't know ho you can train with her. Just promise me you won't turn into her mini. I want you to stay innocent and pure forever. Well anyways, I hope you are happy and safe. I know its only been a few weeks since I’ve been here but I’m going crazy. Maybe when I have Cullen and his soldiers come out here and build those towers I’ll have you tag along with them. Maybe then I can show you around and you won’t be stuck in that dreadfully cold village for eternity. It's something I will need to talk to the advisors about. Can't see anything going wrong with that conversation especially with the lion that guards you so diligently. I wonder if his roar is worse than his bite. Though I have heard from a reliable source (If Varric can be considered a reliable source, there's no telling with a rouge storytelling dwarf, they can be very sneaky) that they both can be devastating to endure. Well, I need to go, dearest sister. I have sights to see and so many demons to kill. I love you, Evie. Be well.

Maxwell Trevelayn, your dashingly handsome brother, with a hero persona.  

 

Genevieve laughs as she reads the letter Ena’vun brought back from Max who seems to be doing good work in the Hinterlands. Glancing over at the large chest that sits at the base of her desk where the scouts sat it down at her request. Walking over to it she pops open the top and rummages through the contents. Parcels of paper and sackcloth in varying sizes are tied closed and upon opening them she realizes are filled with an assortment of herbs a small tag identifying each one. Digging deeper she pulls out a larger bag that makes a clunking noise as it moves. Untieing the top she opens it and sees an assortment of different gemstones varying from amethyst to onyx. Some are rough others are partially polished and gleam in the light. Deeper down are small totems and statues of dogs, halla, and many other types of animals carved from different materials like glass, stone, marble, and polished wood. After she finished unpacking the chest and organizing her haul she gazes upon the cluttered floor her eyes wide at the amount of stuff her brother sent her. Cleaning up the mess she made she grabs a piece of parchment and a pencil made of coal and sketches out a couple of rough drawings of a pare of thin tipped pliers and a crochet needle. Folding them in half she sticks the drawings in her belt and whistles sharply and Ares saunters into the cabin. “Hey, good boy. Could you pull the sled outside to the blacksmith please?” she asks and Ares huffs and walks outside grabbing the slay and starts to drag it towards town. Smiling Genevieve follows him down the frozen dirt path.

 

~*~ ~*~

Lady Genevieve,

I would like to invite you to brunch with Sister Leliana and myself this morning if you are able to attend. If you are to busy we can reschedule but it would be our pleasure if you could attend.

 

Lady Josephine Montilyet

~*~ ~*~

Genevieve walks to the chantry with Ares at her heels as she heads for Josephine’s office.
Knocking twice on the door it opens and she’s greeted by an excited Josephine “oh you made it Gennie! Come in we just had the food delivered” Josephine ushers get and Ares in. Genevieve sees Leliana sitting near the roaring fire sipping what appears to be tea. Genevieve sits down on one of the seats and Josephine joins her. “Hello yourself Gennie,” she tells her and Genevieve grabs what looks like a dumpling and takes a bite savoring the spiced egg and sausage filling “so I hear from Leliana you are improving quite quickly in your lessons with her.”

 

At Josephine's statement, Genevieve blushes nodding her head silently in response. “She's doing more than well. Don't let her humble attitude fill you, she's become very skilled within the short time we have worked together” Leliana speaks up so slyly glancing at Genevieve who looks severely embarrassed at their praise. “Hmm. Well Genevieve, have you remembered anything at all about who you were before you came to us?”

 

Genevieve sits back and stares at the flames her fingers tapping against the glass in her hand “ I get flashes. Most of them don't really make sense. Some I am in a house with a cat and a dog. Others I'm in something like a clinic, healing people with tonics and herbs. The majority of what has come back to me is knowledge. Like cooking unfamiliar dishes, what herbs are good for what things, what foods help heal, fighting, sewing things like that. But I remember the people there most. One was a woman, she had hair like mine and her eyes were the color of my green one, only her face was different. Then there was a boy who looked just like me only his eyes were slightly bluer than my right one. He seemed my age though and I had a strong feeling with him” Genevieve recollects swallowing hard at the intense range of emotions talking about it brings her. “Do you reckon they may have been you're family?” Josephine asked a sober tone to her voice. “Maybe. I don't really want to think of the possibility. Because if they are then what would that mean for me? I had a family and whatever happened to me has made more than myself suffer because if it? If anything I just want to ignore that possibility and have them be tea nameless people in my brain” Genevieve admits almost ashamed at her cowardice. Leliana studies her intently her eyes hard “you show every emotion you’re feeling in your eyes, Genevieve. It makes it oh so easy to read you. It's why I wasn't suspicious of you for very long when you first arrived” at Genevieve's confused expression Leliana sighs and leans forward clasping her hands together “I guess what I am trying to say is, don't call bad about things you can't change. Whatever happened to you, whoever you were before you ended up here doesn't matter now. The past is the past, you can only move on if you accept that it's gone.”


~*~ ~*~

 

Music and laughter fill the tavern as soldiers and recruits alike enjoy an ale after a long day work. Genevieve sits at a lone table next to a window writing in her medical journal next to a painted picture of some Embrium flowers. A plate of bread cheese and meat sure beside her along with a steaming cup of tea that she occasionally sips on. From the corner near the doorway, Rylen watches her as he sips on his own drink. As it gets later the tavern gets busier and he notices two particularly rowdy recruits eye Genevieve. Narrowing how eyes he gets onto his sword as one stands and makes his way over to her table. Genevieve looks up as a shadow falls across her notebook and sees a man smirking down at her. “Hello sweetheart” he purrs and Genevieve furrows her eyebrows. “Um, hello sir. Can I help you?” she asks curiously her eyes flickering from the man over to his friend who stares at the two with a grin. “Oh, you can help me. You're a sweet bint why don't you come sit on my lap?” he suggests leaning over her. Genevieve shrinks back her eyes wide and shakes her head “Um I… no thank you sir” she mumbles.

 

The man gets closer to her ale on his breath as he stares down at her in thinly veiled irritation “Oh don't play hard to get wench. We all know you are only a healer so you can get closer to the men” he tells her the hiss barely concealed from his tone. Genevieve takes a shaky breath and closes her eyes. A hand grabs onto the man’s shoulder and Genevieve opens her eyes to see Rylen Cullen’s second in command glowering at the drunken man. “I think the lady said no” Rylen growls low in his throat his steel blue eyes. “What the hell captain? I was just talking to the pretty lady! It's not like she’s yours. Oh, wait maybe you want her to be. She good in bed knight captain?” the man slurs out his eyes scanning lecherously over her trembling form. “That is the Commander's woman you are talking about soldier watch your words” Rylen hisses his grip on the man tightening. “Oh, so she’s the Commander's personal whore? And you're just being a good little friend and sticking up for her. Maybe she’ll reward you wouldn't….” before the man can finish Rylen punches him in the face. The man stumbles back but catches himself and throws himself at Rylen both throwing punches at each other. Genevieve jumps up from the table with a scream as they land on it and backs up to avoid their brawl. Rough hands grab her arms and she shrieks in panic. using some of the defensive moves Leliana taught her to break free of his hold only for him to grab her again and backhands her across the face. Genevieve cries out in pain cradling her bruised face. Breathing in shallowly Genevieve glares at the man and clenches her fist before sending it flying at the mans face catching him in the nose and sending him rocking backward. At her previous cry of pain and an ominous growl at the door everything stops and her mixed eyes glance over at the door to see Cullen standing there his eyes turned into a dark caramel color as rage fills them. “What is the meaning of this?” his loud voice barks echoing off the stone walls of the tavern. Everything stays silent and his eyes go from Genevieve go Rylen who wipes the corner of his mouth. “Captain?” he asks and Rylen stands at attention his face hard as he stares at his Commander “I was watching the Lady healer like you had asked me to and this man decided to harass her. When it became apparent that he wasn't going to leave her alone when asked too I stepped in. After a few derogatory remarks it escalated and I defended her. His friend then decided to get involved and went after Lady Genevieve who defended herself accordingly. The rest you know sir.”

 

Cullen’s gaze lands on Genevieve who looks at him with wide eyes before he gives two soldiers who followed him in a look. They bow their heads and grab the two offenders dragging them to the Chantry. Cullen then walks over to Genevieve and holds out his hand to her. She takes it only to hiss as pain shoots through her dominant hand. “Let's get you back to your cabin then I shall tend to your wounds,” he says looking down at her injured wrist softly with a bit of hidden anger in his gaze.

 

“Go on up and get dressed. I’ll get some ointment and bandages before I’ll join you” Cullen says softly and Genevieve nods before making her way upstairs sending a backward glance at him only to see him rummaging through her cupboards. Slipping out of her dress being mindful of her injuries she grabs a large cotton tunic she snagged from Cullens tent during one of their evening dinners and slips it over her head. Standing there awkwardly she watches as Cullen comes out holding a jar of ointment and pauses his eyes darkening as he sees her standing there. “Where did you get my tunic from sweetling?” he asks swallowing hard as his eyes scan over her short curvy form. “That one night we had dinner in your tent. I had spilled wine on my shirt and you offered me your shirt to wear instead of my stained one. I just haven't returned it and have used it as a nightshift ever since” she tells him embarrassment tinting her cheeks red. Cullen smiles warmly at the memory of that night filled with candlelight sweet talk and stolen kisses before he walks up the stairs sitting on the edge of her bed as she sits in front of him. Dipping a cloth in a bowl of elfroot steeped water he daps at the cut above her eyebrow and at the corner of her lip sending her apologetic looks as she winces. “The Herald will deal with your two attackers when he gets back. I’ll also station more guards around to keep an eye on our men so this doesn't happen again to you or anyone else” he vows his golden eyes glinting harshly before softening at her sweet gaze. “You don't have to do that Cullen. I can take care of myself. I did defend myself quite well before you showed up” she reminds him and he takes her right hand in his studying the slightly swollen knuckles that slowly turn black and blue. “You’ve probably sprained it. Here let me wrap it for you” he murmurs and tears the damp cloth from earlier into thin strips and gently wraps her hand from wrist to fingertips careful to leave it loose enough to encourage movement but tight enough to protect “these are precious hands. You should have never had to hurt them like this” he murmurs scornfully caressing the bandages with his thumbs as he gazes down at it his eyes hard.  Cool fingertips touch the side of his head bringing his eyes up to see Genevieve looking at him with concern “You have a headache again, don't you?” she asks softly and he sighs slightly irritated by not being able to hide his pain from her. “Here let me help you like you just helped me” she takes the jar from his grasp and applies some of the salve rubbing it onto his temples and across his forehead before she massages it into his skin. She then applies it behind his ears and at the base of his skull and does the same there. His eyes lull shut at her gently ministrations the tension in his muscles loosening as she gently coaxes the headache away. As she slows down her movements his eyes open to look at her with a hooded expression filled with love and care “See, precious hands.”

 

“Stay with me tonight” she whispers a blush rising to her cheeks shocked by her own courage. “Sweetling, I really shouldn’t. You're not ready for that just yet” he murmurs lifting his hand to her cheek enjoying the warmth her blush gives off. “Just to sleep Cullen. That’s all I ask. I just don't want to be alone tonight” she mumbles embarrassed by her vulnerability. Cullen stays quiet for a few moments thinking of her proposition before he sighs and kisses the top of her head having made his decision. Scooching her towards the wall away from the edge of her loft he unstraps his armor leaving him in his jerkin and trousers and slips under the blankets. Tugging her closer to him Genevive takes this as an invitation and snuggles into his side smiling brightly as he settles his chin on the top of her head. “Thank you for straying Cullen” she whispers her voice soft and slow as she slips into unconsciousness  “Anything for you my lady,” he tells her and closes his eyes allowing himself to drift off to her steady heartbeat and soft breaths.