The sun crept over the Frostbacks and trickled through the curtains in Cullen’s office, alerting him to the coming morning and the fact that soon the rest of the hold would be awakening. The early hours before the sun rose were the moments where Cullen could do his best work. The sun meant that it was time for his daily inspection of the fortifications. He’d be damned if they were caught unaware again. Haven was – an expensive wakeup call. The loss of so many good people had been a blow to the Inquisition. He had taken it personally, they were his people and they died on his watch. Not only that but his mistake had forced the Inquisitor to sacrifice herself so everyone could escape. It should have been me.
I should’ve been the one to stay behind.
He shook his head, dispelling the unpleasant thoughts. It would do nothing productive to dwell on those moments. He should be focused on what he could do to make sure that never happened again. Which meant daily inspections and meticulous notes on where things could be strengthened.
Cullen was roused from his examinations as he rounded the battlements that surrounded part of the Skyhold gardens. He was about to depart for his office when a familiar tune caught his attention – a melodic harmony of highs and lows filled the morning air. He didn’t recognize the words but he had heard something similar at Haven.
As he glanced down into the garden, his suspicions were confirmed. Seated amongst the elfroot and arbor blessings was the Inquisitor. Her silver hair flowed freely down her back and Cullen noticed her feet buried in the dirt which caused him to stifle a laugh. He didn’t want to interrupt what she was doing.
You just want to watch her for a bit. He flushed at his own thoughts. They were right though, he rarely got a chance to simply observe her lately. She had just gotten back from the Haven memorial and from what he had heard from the briefing – it had been incredibly emotional for her. He wanted nothing more than to comfort her but – he knew it wasn’t his place to do so.
Cullen watched as the Inquisitor cupped her hands around several stalks of elfroot and began to sing; softly at first but it grew louder. Light oozed from her fingertips as she sung and soon the stalks she held were enveloped. He watched her as she made her way through the garden, singing to clusters of herbs and crops alike.
When he was finally able to take his eyes off her he could see that he wasn’t the only one that she had captured with her song. Across the garden, perched against an open door was the other elven apostate, Solas. There had been whispers among the nobles and troops alike that the Inquisitor had come to care for the mysterious elf. He hadn’t wanted to believe it but Cullen saw her head snap up and a smile appear on her face when she noticed Solas watching her.
Give up before it ends up like Kinloch Hold all over again. A voice in his head whispered. And this time, Cullen listened.