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Rifts Between Worlds (Currently being overhauled and rewritten!)

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"Yes. Of course dad. No, I am leaving around 2 and should be in Warrenton no later than 3:30." My dad calls me every night before I go for a jog through the woods behind my apartment complex. We always go bow hunting the first week deer season starts. "Yes, I just had my bow restrung two days ago and I already have my hunting tips in my case. Yes, I have my blind. I love you too."

I hung up the phone and pulled my Mizzou hoodie over my head, threw my bright red hair into a ponytail and pulled my pink sneakers on. I just graduated with my Masters in video game design and have been binging on the Dragon Age series between moving back into my apartment and trying to find work. I still had about 12 boxes that needed unpacking. I shoved my phone into my pocket as well as my keys after locking my front door. I lived very close to the Missouri River and the woods leading to its banks.

It was starting to get chilly in eastern Missouri and the past week had been nothing but thunderstorms with promises of a tornado. I put my earbuds in my ears and started my jog, listening to Country music as I run always gets me going. My goal was two miles today.

"Great, just perfect," I say out loud. It had started to rain again and I was about a mile and a half from my apartment. I decided to turn around, defeated once again by Missouri's bipolar weather when a bolt of neon green lightning cracked across the sky. I pulled my hood up and started jogging back the way I had come, I walked for about ten minutes before another streak of the weird lightning hit close by.

A flash of bright green light crackled to my right and I jumped. I could almost see into the stretched green light ahead of me, I turned back to my goal; getting home before the rain really started to come down. Just then my temple met the pine needles that littered the ground, I was being pulled into the green light. I screamed for help, even though I knew no one could hear me.

I was falling.

Dark.

Pain.

Freezing.

Nothing.

"Wake up." Someone was shaking me, but the voice seemed familiar. A harsh voice I had heard before. And then it happened; she made a noise of disgust and I knew it could only be one person... but she wasn't real.

My eyes flew open and there she was, not an animated character on my computer screen but a flesh and blood human.

"Cass--Cassandra? No. No. No. You're not real." Cassandra looked concerned now. She was looking me up and down like I was a predator, ready to attack her.
"Who are you?" She drew her sword and aimed it at my throat. "How do you know my name?" She was pissed now.

"I-I-I'm Shadow, I don't know how I got here. But I know this place. We're close to Haven?" I looked up and saw it, so much bigger and ruinous than I had thought while playing a video game, "The Breach. It's much larger than I thought it would be."

"You've seen this? Do you know how it happened?" I nodded, I didn't know how much I should tell her, people in Thedas could die if I were to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

"The Conclave exploded. Have you found the person who fell from the rift at the Temple?" She nodded as she sheathed her sword and offered me a hand up.

"Yes, we've found her, a Dalish elf I assume with the marks on her face. Are you a Seer then? I didn't know there were Seer elves." She said, calmer than she ever was in the game.

"I'm not an elf," I said before reflexively reaching up to feel my ears. Pointed. Great. I just hoped I didn't have Vallaslin on my face. "Or I guess I am."

"A city elf? You don't have those face markings." Cassandra said as she led me towards Haven.

"More of a nomad. I prefer solitude." Cassandra nods. "Am I a prisoner, Cassandra?" It seemed like a logical question to ask.

"No. I assume you know about the Inquisition if you know about the Breach?" Oh, boy did I. I could tell her everything about it, but then I'd definitely be her prisoner.

I shoved my hands in my hoodie pocket, felt my phone and keys still in there. "I do. I also know that the Dalish woman who fell out of the breach will be a great help." Vague but I didn't want to call her the Herald yet, seeing as the Breach seemed very new, there were soldiers still in the valley.

"I see. Where are you from that they wear such clothing?" I was still in my Mizzou hoodie and jogging pants.

"I am from somewhere quite far away, I have heard about Thedas though." I couldn't think of a better explanation. I was obviously pulled through a Fade rift but how? Did I fall asleep on my couch and this is all actually a very vivid dream? I don't know.

"Let's get to Haven. We need to discuss this with Leliana and Commander--"

"Cullen. Got it." If she was going to think I was a Seer, I wouldn't tell her otherwise. In Dragon Age Lore, Seers were greatly respected in times of war.

"We should get you into some less... distracting clothing. We will visit--" demons came skating towards us as we were walking across the ice towards Haven. I saw a bow in the hands of a dead soldier. Before I could think I grabbed it and the quiver full of arrows a few feet from it, trying not to cringe too hard at the dead body. I slid the quiver over my shoulder and nocked an arrow, all of the years bowhunting with my dad was going to pay off here.

Arrow after arrow into demons, and we finally arrived at the gates into Haven after what seemed like hours.

"Commander, this is Shadow. She seems to be a Seer, which could be very beneficial to the Inquisition." Many thoughts came to mind at the sight of the commander. None of them were very lady-like. His face was very similar to the game, though his eyes were a dark shade of blue and not a honeyed brown.

"Hello, Cullen. Shadow Bastien." He looked me over and blushed when he realized I noticed. Definitely, the awkward Cullen I knew and loved.

"Lady Bastien." He nodded his head at me and then did another once-over. I knew I stood out, but it's not like I planned a trip into a supposedly fictional world today. I would've brought my breeches.

"I need to speak to Sister Nightingale... after I change." I looked down at my soaked tennis shoes. Cassandra led me into Haven, there was so much more here than any game could depict. Tents shoved into every available space, People and children going about their days. Cassandra stopped in front of a cabin and said there should be something inside that should fit me.

"I assume you can find your way around. Meet me in Josephine's office when you are finished." I nodded and she left. Once inside I pulled out my phone and frowned, wasn't sure what I had expected. There were no cell towers in Thedas. I turned it off to save the battery.

I changed out of my hoodie, and sportswear and into a quite comfortable tunic and breeches. I pulled a pair of boots on and braided my long red hair. I used the camera on my phone to inspect my now pointed ears. My blue eyes seemed brighter here as well.

I decided I would keep Solas' secret. He really is a large part of this mess. Stupid Dread Wolf. He will always be too elfy. I was more excited about the companions. I would have to pull some pranks with Sera and play Wicked Grace with Varric. Right now I need to talk to Leliana about making sure to stockpile supplies in some locations near Haven.

Chapter Text

I had been in Haven for almost two weeks. Cassandra, Leliana, and Cullen had officially made me Seer of the Inquisition, but only the inner circle knew about it. They had been letting me join the hunting parties when it was time to restock meat. It kept up the appearance that I was just another one of the hunters. I couldn't believe how hard a druffalo is to take down, but the meat would feed Haven's people for a few days.

Ashana Lavellan was the Herald's name, blonde and looked no older than 18. She had the complicated version of Mythal's vallaslin in a deep royal purple on her face. I had always thought the Herald to be a strong-willed person but Ashana was scared and I couldn't blame her. I had played through the game quite a few times and it hadn't seemed a big deal until I had actually seen the full scope of the terror and destruction with my own eyes.

Solas would ask me vague questions about what I knew, he had pressed me for information that I couldn't give quite yet. So many times I wanted to tell him I knew he was Fen'Harel. It grew easier to pretend to be a "Seer", only offering critical information pertinent to the very near future.

Another week had passed and we were planning the trip to the Hinterlands so Ashana could meet Mother Giselle. She had been sitting at the edge of the frozen lake when I found her after the war council.

"Ashana? Da'len, are you alright?" I would use the elven I knew from playing the games to fit in. I had mispronounced a lot of the ones I had seen on Wikipedia initially at which Solas actually groaned. He offered to help me with my pronunciation. Egghead. He’s actually very smart, not just haughty.

"I am just scared, hahren. What if I can't close the Breach?" She and I had become close, she sought my council often and during war council meetings would ask my opinions.

"Ashana, you will close the breach. I have seen it da'len." She was so worried she would let everyone down, she would ride out for the Hinterlands in a few days and begged me to go with her. "I wish I could go, but you're a powerful young mage. You can do this Ashana. Varric, Cassandra, and Solas will be with you. You aren't alone." Ashana hugged me.

It had been a week since Ashana and the rest of them had left, Harritt had made me some hunting leathers. They were a gorgeous deep red and brown, and the thick vest kept out most of the cold. I was walking toward the Chantry when I stopped in my tracks. Krem stood by the doors trying to get anyone's attention. I walked up to him and threw my ironbark bow over my left shoulder.

"You're Cremisius Aclassi, here to convey a message sent by your mercenary leader the Iron Bull," I said matter-of-factly, Krem's eyes went wide. "Our Herald isn't here at the moment, but she will return after she finishes her business in Val Royeaux."

"How'd you know who I was?" He was more androgynous that I'd have imagined.

"I am the Inquisition’s Seer, my name is Shadow. Though only the Inner Circle of the Inquisition is aware of my abilities." She didn't see the harm in telling Krem. She knew that they were on the Inquisition's side and that soon the Iron Bull would be a part of the Inner Circle. "Ashana will accept the Iron Bull's offer when she helps him in the Storm Coast." Krem nodded and headed towards the stables. The rest of the month went smoothly until I overextended my right shoulder. Leliana had been teaching me to throw blades.

"Lady Shadow, are you awake?" A voice I hadn’t heard in over a month woke me from my light sleep. I sat straight up, a slow throb in my shoulder still.
"Da'len? Come in." Ashana made her way into the tent and had that look of dread her face.

"Will you come with me, hahren?" I gave her a quirk of my brow.

"Where are we going, Ashana?" I asked. She had asked me to go to the Hinterlands with her before but I couldn't. Leliana had me “looking into” why the Templars and Mages were refusing to speak with the Inquisition.

"The Storm Coast. Leliana said there is someone there we needed to recruit, and you talked to one of his men." I finally realized what she was asking.
"The Iron Bull. Yes, I will go with you da'len." Mainly because Iron Bull was my secret crush. Why? I have no clue. "This Qunari will keep you safe while on your travels. And if he doesn't I will handle him." Ashana hugged me and said we were heading out the next morning, Dennet's herds hadn't arrived yet so I would be riding with Varric.

"Ah, you must be with the Inquisition?" Iron Bull said as he wiped Tevinter blood from his giant ax. "I hear your seer already knew about us." He hadn't noticed me standing behind Ashana, she was a few inches taller than I was. Ashana stepped aside and I removed the hood of my cloak.

"I do, Iron Bull it is nice to meet you. I am Shadow Bastien, Seer of the Inquisition." Had my entrance really been that much of a shock? He stared at me while talking to Ashana about joining the Inquisition. Varric cleared his throat and nudged my hip.

"Looks like someone likes what he sees, Seer," Varric said so low, a whisper only I would hear and then chuckled.

Then I heard him say the words and knew to step in. "He's Ben-Hassrath, a Qunari spy. And he has a thing for redheads. He will share everything with Sister Nightingale though, your worship." I said with a slight smirk on my face. Iron Bull just gawked. It was like the Maker had slapped him across the face. His face returned to its easy stare.

"Damn!" His voice boomed as he let out a chuckle. "She really is a Seer. I have seen too many fake asshole seers in my time." He kept his eyes on me as if trying to figure out how I knew so much. "We will move out in the morning. Krem has probably opened the casks by now, let's go have a drink." He led us to his camp.

"Shadow huh? A nickname?" Iron Bull had fallen back to speak with me. I shook my head.

"No, my actual name is Shadow. My da-father said it was my mother's favorite name." I had pulled my hood back over my head, the constant rain reminded me of my trip to Seattle. I at least had my leather jacket then.

"Interesting name for a child. Any ass-kicking skills? That name sounds like it belongs to a badass." His laugh boomed, just then a Vint they had missed came barreling toward us, I threw a knife into his eye socket. My throwing skills had definitely improved since my month training with Leliana. I was a natural at it. His jaw hung open when he looked at my nonchalant expression. It was like he couldn't read me. I collected the knife from the corpse of the Tevinter and wiped the blood off with my cloak.

"A few," I said as I returned the knife back to its place at my hip and walked off towards the camp.

Chapter Text

We had been back in Haven almost a month. Every night I would catch Iron Bull staring at me intently. I would just give him my sweetest smile and continue skinning the animal in my bare hands, or chopping wood, or sitting next to my tent reading the books Solas lent to me. A lot of the time Ashana sat with me. She had started calling me asa'ma'lin. I definitely felt a kinship between us.

"We need to go to Therinfal." Cullen insisted. "The Templars abilities will be beneficial in closing the Breach."

"The mages would be just as, if not more instrumental to our success, Commander." Leliana had argued. That was the ongoing fight that was going on in the war room. Then I realized we had more options and this was real life and not a video game.

"Why not recruit both?" I said loud enough to silence their bickering.

"That's insanity Seer! We can’t afford to divide our forces. We are spread thin enough as it is!" Cassandra said in the midst of another disgusted noise.

"Why is it insanity Seeker? There will be no rifts at Therinfal. The Herald will have to be at Redcliffe, but I can go to Therinfal. I already know what to expect." I swallowed hard. Envy. I had almost forgotten about the demon posing as the Lord Seeker. "I can get the Templars to comply just as easily as Ashana can." The Herald nodded.

"I think having both Templars and Mages in our ranks would be more beneficial than one or the other," Ashana replied I had told her what to expect at Redcliffe. Dorian burst into the war room. Debonair as always.

"I will accompany the Herald. If anyone is going to face Alexius, I want to be there." We nodded in unison.

"Keep my little sister safe, Dorian. Don't prove my sight wrong." I said.

"I wouldn't dream of it, Lady Bastien," Dorian said.

"I will take Iron Bull, Varric, and Solas. Blackwall, Sera and Dorian will accompany Ashana to Redcliffe." I started outlining a plan of attack on Redcliffe Castle. "Leliana, your men can get in through the secret escape passage for the Arl and his family, Dorian will help your scouts get in undetected."

"What of Therinfal, Seer? What awaits you and your companions?" Cullen asked scratching his neck.

"Leave Therinfal to me, I will take care of everything and be back before kickoff--er. Nevermind that last part. Leliana, are the supplies where we discussed?"

"Yes Lady Seer, they are prepared. Do you still not know exactly why we may need them?" Leliana eyed me suspiciously.

"I will see it when it becomes clearer Sister Nightingale. My sight doesn't work like you may think it does." If Leliana knew what I did, she would want to get as far away from Haven as possible. I felt that wherever we fled, Corypheus would find us. He would destroy any place we sought refuge to get to Ashana.

"Very well seer." Her face softened slightly. I walked out of the war room and headed off to tell the companions that would accompany me of our imminent departure.

A week passed and Bull still watched my every move, he would come and speak with me as I shot training dummies, or teased me as I threw knives through his horns while he sat in front of a target.

"Bull, don't you ever tire of my company? Watching me all day must get exhausting." He looked up as I shot an arrow into the head of the training dummy a hundred yards away.

"You are very difficult to get to know Shadow. I can't read you like I can others." He admitted. He seemed up for the challenge, he would figure out my tells. If I have any.

"You could just ask me about myself instead of being the oversized creep that gawks at my ass every time I bend over." He nearly choked on whatever was in his tankard, he was laughing his ass off.

"Well, I can't help myself that it's such a nice ass. Somebody should be looking at it regularly. Appreciatively, of course." He smirked and I pushed a stray hair out of my face.

"So it isn't just my gingerness that keeps you staring? And here I thought you just liked me for my hair, you should know that the carpet matches the drapes, Bull." I quipped, The Iron Bull had a schoolgirl crush on me. "Well I am off to the bath house, I cannot leave for Therinfal tomorrow smelling like dead August Ram. Later, Bull." I slung my bow over my left shoulder and sauntered toward my tent. I was confident that his jaw was in the snow again.

I deposited my weapons, save a dagger I kept at my back, in the corner of my tent. A trunk under my cot held the few sets of clothes I owned. I grabbed a shirt, my "towel" though they called it something else along with the soap that Adan had helped me make slung over my arm. I shed much of my outer clothes so I didn't have to carry so much back.

The communal bathhouse was through the gates of Haven, just to the right of the Chantry. It was a stone building with a large archway instead of a door, thick canvas-like drapes covering the opening to keep out the elements. I stepped inside where it was dimly lit but I could tell others were in the pool washing.

I sat on one of the wooden chairs in the corner and listened to the water as I shed out of the clothes I had been wearing for three days now. The buttons on these fucking tunics were not made for me to figure out apparently, after a few failed attempts, I finally remembered how Josephine taught me to undo them. I had a breastband, but it made my large breasts ache when it was wrapped too tight, so I just washed my sports bra when it needed it and wore that instead.

I could feel eyes on me but was too tired to care. Everyone was naked in a bathhouse. People usually stared at the colorful Wolf on my shoulder or the large black and white dreamcatcher tattoo that started between my breasts and trailed feathers down to where my breeches started at my hips. Even the owl with outspread wings that wrapped around my right thigh seemed to cause a stir. No one seemed to question the Inquisition’s sigil tattooed on my forearm though. To them, it marked me as the Seer.

Of course, the eyes I felt on my back would be Iron Bulls. He sat in the water across from where I was standing, his gaze was intense and followed my every move. I walked over and dove into the pool emerging next to him a few moments later. "Hello, Bull. Enjoy the show?"

"Of course I did. So, the badass elf girl has tattoos. Who would've guessed?" He was trying to hide a grin.

"Well, since I am in here every few days, most of Haven has already seen me naked," I smirked. I stood a few feet from Bull, scrubbing my body until I took the first layer of skin off. I worked up a good lather and washed my hair, now shorter than when I arrived. I finished and Bull still sat in the pool, just watching me. I pulled myself out of the pool and wrapped my towel around my body.

I watched out of the corner of my eye as Iron Bull stepped out of the pool, his large member standing at attention. He walked over to his things, nonchalantly wrapping his towel around his waist and caught me staring. I blushed scarlet and turned my head, shrugged into my too-loose nightshirt and pulled my boots on. I gathered my things and left the bathhouse, still blushing. I had seen them before at the bathhouse, I just didn't know they could be that big.

I made it to my tent and flopped onto the cot. I was so tired and now I was flushed. It was late and we were leaving for Therinfal tomorrow.

Chapter Text

--You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.--

Using Iron Bulls back as a vault I launched myself into the air at full speed, embedding my daggers into Envy's skull. It's head making a cringe-worthy crunch as it hit the ground. "NOW TRY TO TAKE MY FACE ASSHOLE!" I yelled, yanking my daggers free of its head and returning them to the holsters across my chest. I gave the crumpled demon a kick to the face for good measure before going to talk to the remaining Templars. I was covered in blood, hoping Dorian knew how to get bloodstains out of halla leather.

"Templars, will you help the Inquisition close the Breach?" Barris stood at the front of the remaining contingent of Therinfal's Templars.
"Join us in closing the damn hole in the sky!" The Templars bowed to me, It was strange. They knew I wasn't the Herald, Abernache actually scolded me for not being Ashana. I was still wondering how and why I saved his life. He always got an arrow to the face when I played the game, but out of pure instinct I grabbed a shield and protected him.

Bull scooped me up and set me on his shoulders, I was exhausted. I don't even remember closing my eyes, I do remember wishing I hadn't. I thought I knew how to deal with envy and yet he still almost got the better of me. I couldn't get the picture of my dad slitting his own throat out of my head. Bull killing Ashana, Leliana pulling a knife across Cullen's throat. I woke with a start, apparently screaming as Bull and Varric were looking into my tent, worried expressions on their faces.
"You alright Daggers?" Varric's nickname for me was funny, but this time I didn't laugh and neither did he. I was holding back the tears. I pulled my knees to my chest and stared, wide-eyed at the floor of the tent.

"No. No. No. No. It wasn't supposed to happen like that. That's not how I saw it happen." I muttered to myself, but loud enough that Varric and Bull heard it.
"Is she in shock? Daggers?" Varric was still trying to get my attention. I could feel the tears spilling over.

"That wasn't how it was supposed to happen. I saw it differently. My dad..." Then that's when the body-wracking sobs came. I missed my dad. I missed how he called every night. How he would drive the forty minutes to my apartment each week to play video games and eat pizza with me. I miss his voice. I went missing back home, he's probably been in a panic for months. "I wish I could call him and just tell him I'm ok." I didn't mean to say it out loud. But I didn't care.

"Oh, Daggers. What did that demon do to you?" Varric said, his voice somber. Just then I felt strong arms encircle me and pull me into their lap. Bull. He kissed my hair as I sobbed so hard my stomach hurt. After a while, I fell back to sleep despite my best efforts.

When I opened my eyes Varric was gone. Bull was snoring and it was dark outside. I wriggled free from Bull's arms and went outside. I walked up to Therinfal's bridge and sat on the edge. I just thought about who would be looking for me, I have been missing for months. Have they given up? No! My dad wouldn't give up on me. I could hear his voice talking to my five-year-old self; "You were your mother's only dream Shadow. She may not be here, but you will always be the Shadow of her dreams." The thought made me cry again and reflexively touch my chest where my dreamcatcher tattoo started.

Even if I could get back home, would I want to? My dad was always telling me to follow my heart and do what makes me happy. But I never intended to land in a world I often took solace in. Especially with the egghead trying to destroy it. I still don't know how I got here. How is any of this real? The Iron Bull was comforting me after I killed an ENVY DEMON! I know I didn't have many friends, but I never expected my best friends to be the characters in my video games. If I died here, no one back home would even know. My dad probably thinks I'm already dead.

I can see it: I didn't show up at his house Friday afternoon so he called, probably 50 times. He rushed to my apartment. My lightning blue chevy still in my parking space, packed for our hunting trip. He ran up to my apartment and called out to me, but couldn't find me. He walked my jogging trail, the one I knew like the back of my hand, Ameristar Casino just a couple of miles away. He drove up to Bass Pro to see if I walked there. I was just gone. All of my things in their place in my apartment, boxes still needing to be unpacked. Nothing was taken, purse still hanging off the barstool at my center island. He called the cops. He stayed at my place, I know he did. He waited for me to come home. But I never came home. I got dragged through a fade rift and brought to Thedas.

Just then Solas walked up and leaned against the side of the bridge. "Are you ok, Lady Bastien?" I shook my head.

"No Solas, I'm really not. I got pulled into this world by a fade rift in my world. I just wanted to get home before the rain picked up. I was supposed to go on a hunting trip with my father, I have been missing for months. I was all my dad had left since my mom died." Solas looked confused.

"A fade rift brought you here from another world?" I nodded.

"Where I'm from, Thedas is just a story. A fictional place." I didn't know why I was telling him this. He was still the egghead who was trying to ruin the world. "Are we friends Solas?"

"I think of you as one of my only friends, Shadow. Why do you ask?" I believe him.

She was about to tell him that she knew, but he had things to do before she told him that. "I just don't have many where I'm from. I am not used to having so many people I can rely on. So many people who care about me. It was always just me and my dad. I'm sorry."

"Are you sure you will be ok to go back to Haven? We still have to close the Breach." Solas said.

Haven is going to fall, I had almost forgotten. Corypheus is going to make himself known soon. "I am ready. I want to help my asa'ma'lin close the breach." He nodded and smiled gently as he walked away.

I crawled back into bed and into Bull's arms. Having him so close made me feel safe. I didn't know why though. We had never actually had a full conversation, all he did was stare at me half the time. I drifted back to sleep.

 

--Depression whispered into my ear, "You are not strong enough to withstand the storm." Today I whispered into depression's ear, "I am the storm."--

 

A month later we arrived back into Haven and I was greeted with a huge hug from Ashana. "I missed you asa'ma'lin!" We had mages and Templars pouring into Haven. We would go to the breach soon. My adopted little sister would close the Breach. She would trick Corypheus and bury Haven in an avalanche.

"I missed you too." I hugged her close. "Ok asa'ma'lin, go get some rest, I know you just got back as well." She retreated back to her cabin. I went and grabbed my things for a bath, trudging to the bathhouse. I wasn't even phased by a naked Iron Bull. I just peeled my leathers and smalls off and sat in the warm water. I must've sat in there for a while because the sky was dark when I finally decided to get out. Blackwall and Iron Bull were watching me like I might explode the entire time. Bull did help me wash. I didn't even try to stop him. I also didn't realize how dirty I actually was.
When I was clean I thanked Bull for his help and dressed in my nightshirt, didn't even bother with my boots or smalls, and went to my tent. Sleep eluded me. Every time I closed my eyes I watched my father and my friends die.

 

--My past has not destroyed me, deterred me or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.--

Chapter Text

Two months had passed and I was handling my depression with as much grace as a bronto. I hadn't really noticed much and was in my own head more than I cared to be. I had felt so much better the last few days, Ashana had found me just before I did something really stupid. Iron Bull and Varric watched me like a hawk.

"Thank you for helping me da'len. I actually slept like a rock last night. No nightmares." It was true, Adan had given me some potion to help me sleep. I felt like going to shoot something today. I dressed in just my Mizzou hoodie and breeches, I honestly didn't care what people thought at this point.

"You're welcome asa'ma'lin, I am glad you're feeling better." Ashana walked with me to the training yard, Cullen's men weren't even awake yet. They had built the trebuchets, just like I had informed them to do. I told Leliana to prepare for the worst after the Breach was closed. She didn't question me, not after hearing about Therinfal. When she read my reports her face had turned white.

I was chucking knives at a target when Bull and Varric walked up. "Hello boys." I said without looking."I am not going to hurt myself," then Cole appeared.

"Hardened, stronger, still hurt, but healing. Friends make the hurt go away. You are healing yourself Shadow, you don't need my help." Cole said.

"Thanks for the insight, Cole." I strained his name as I threw another knife. "It actually helped."
Cassandra came over next, another disgusted noise as she notices Cole. "Seer, why do you hang around that thing?"

"That thing, Cassandra, is a spirit of compassion. He will not hurt anyone. He will not ask for anything in return either. Just that he is able to stay and help." Cole nodded.

"Your father would be proud of you, Daggers. I have seen men kill others or themselves while battling war sickness." That's what they called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Thedas.

"You don't even know how bad it is where I'm from. A lot of our soldiers come home with war sickness. I have seen battle before Therinfal, but what that Envy asshole showed me would rattle even our Iron Bull."

"It would take more than an Envy demon to rattle me." He roared a laugh.

"Let's get to the war room asa'ma'lin, let's tell your council we're ready for the assault on the breach." I said and Ashana nodded as I loosed another blade into the chest of a training dummy. Picturing Corypheus.

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"Mages! Templars! Channel your magic toward the Herald! Let her will draw from you!" Solas, always with the pep talks. Ashana approached the Breach, I had explained to her how to do it on the ride to the Temple ruins. She thrust her left hand towards the sky and I was blown back onto the ground as was everyone else. Solas was knocked unconscious, I always wondered why he never got right back up in the game.

"You did it little sister, I am so proud of you!" I grabbed her in a hug. I knew she would do it but watching her do it was so rewarding. It turned out Ashana was only a year younger than I was, she looked so much younger. "It's not over yet asa'ma'lin. We need to get back to Haven." She nodded and we helped Solas up.

When we arrived back at Haven it was an outright party, much more than I expected. People cheered as we rode up. People with instruments played cheerful tunes and the townspeople were drinking and merrymaking. Leliana had my tent moved inside the gates, next to Varric’s. He and Bull had been my official babysitters… the looks on their faces when I tried explaining what a babysitter was had made my day.

I had tossed a bag of supplies down the mining shaft where Ashana would get to before the snow demolished Haven. I had my Mizzou hoodie, extra smalls, a bundle of my daggers, healing potions and some dried druffalo meat. I was ready for it when I watched Cassandra step up to Ashana, heard her tell Cassandra that we couldn’t rest easy because we didn’t know what caused the breach.

Then it came, the alarm bell. My stomach dropped, but I knew even though we had gotten to the mages and the Templars, Calpernia and Samson would both be with Corypheus, instead of just one or the other. I grabbed my ironbark bow, and my quiver with the serpentstone arrows Leliana had Harritt make for me. I waved Bull, Sera and Varric over.

“It’s a blighted ancient magister, his name is Corypheus. He goes by The Elder One. He is here for Ashana, and we have royally pissed him off.” I said to Cullen. I turned to Leliana and nodded, she finally realized why I had her stockpiling supplies in the dungeon next to the door no one used… it was our way out of Haven. “Get the people out Sister Nightingale! Bull, Sera, Varric with me and the Herald, the rest of you help Leliana! MOVE IT!” I was shouting orders, but Cullen allowed it. Leliana knew I had a plan before I did.

“Cullen, give me a plan. ANYTHING!” Ashana shouted.

“Mages you have permission to engage the enemy, Templars you know what to do! Inquisition, with the Herald! For your lives, for all of us!” Cullen had thrust his sword into the air and led a charge while myself and the companions fought off Venatori, red templars, and rogue mages.

“To the other trebuchet!” A scout yelled and we ran as fast as our feet could carry us.

We kept the Venatori off of Ashana as she manned the trebuchet, getting ready to fire it at the mountain above the massive force emerging. “FIRE IT ASHANA!” I yelled while leaping and taking out two venatori with my daggers. I had nearly forgotten about his dragon. The one everyone would think is an Archdemon. “SHIT! Get away from the--” It hit the trebuchet with a massive fireball sending us all flying backward.

“Everyone to the gates!” Ashana said, breathless after she was knocked back so hard. Bull stopped to move a large crate out of Harritt’s way and we continued into Haven’s gates.

“Get to the Chantry, it’s the only building that might hold against that… beast. Just make them work for it.” Cullen ran off, scooping up a couple children as he ran to the Chantry. We had saved Lysette, Flissa, Adan, the woman I had seen in Josephine’s office but never could remember her name and Threnn.

Roderick was trying to hold off a Venatori, Ashana screamed as four Venatori prowlers surrounded her, I made a call and just as a prowler loosed a throwing knife, I lept in front of her. The knife digging itself into my lower back, “SHADOW!” That was the last thing I heard before my head landed hard against a stone.

Everything went black.

Chapter Text

I bolted upright, HUGE mistake! “Ouch! What in the actual fuck?!” My back hurt, where are we? My eyes adjusted to the dimly lit camp as I saw Sera and Varric rush over to me.

 

“You took one for the Herald. More balls than any of us had.” Sera commented.

 

“She’s still alive.” I croaked. And Leliana rushed over when she saw me sitting.

 

“What did you say, Seer?”

 

“Ashana, still alive.” It wasn’t a question. I threw the furs off of me and swung my legs over the side of the cot. “Get out of my way!” I tried to yell at people but my throat burned. I grabbed my knapsack and pulled out my clothes. Adan or Solas must’ve given me a healing potion, that shit always made me hoarse.

 

It helped the healing process but not the pain of the wound. Barefoot and in my pink and black leggings and my Mizzou hoodie, I headed to the mouth of the valley where we made camp. Right where I knew Ashana would emerge.

 

I heard my friends yelling at me to come back but I ran, tears in my eyes from the pain in my back. The snow came up to my knees. I wasn’t sure how long I’d been out, but apparently, I had missed a lot. Did she make it? Did she find the supplies I left her? The Herald always survived. I kept going, then I saw a glow, a red glyph?

 

“ASHANA!” I tried to yell. She was casting a warming glyph around herself. I got to her, but it took me nearly 20 minutes. She was exhausted. I pulled her up and led her to the camp, the campfire glow seemed non-existent from here. We got to the mouth of the valley and both of us collapsed, her hand, glowing green, clamped over her ribs because Corypheus slammed her against the trebuchet.

 

“Shadow? Shadow, wake up.” I could hear the deep voice trying to rouse me, but it was far away. Would I wake and be home, or in a hospital bed, my dad by my side? “Shadow, come on. Get up, please?” Closer this time. Iron Bull?

 

My eyes fluttered open, I was still in Thedas. Pain surged through me. My back, my feet, my newly pointed ears--I kept forgetting I was no longer human. Everything hurt. “Ugh, who hit me with a truck?”

 

Dorian’s voice came next, “What is a truck?” I shook my head, instantly regretting doing so.

 

“It’s--I don’t even know how to explain what it is. It’s a lot like a cart, only there are no animals involved in pulling it to get it to move, though it is expensive to feed. I miss mine.” I held my right hand to the side of my scalp, I could feel the dried blood in my hair. “I have a concussion, you should have kept me awake.” I wasn’t mad or annoyed, it wasn’t a common thing to know here.

 

“We couldn’t wake you. Ashana is still out, she had a few broken ribs, but she’s healing.” Leliana said. “You risked your life for her, we owe you a great debt Lady Seer.”

 

“You don’t owe me anything. Ashana, Dorian, Varric, Sera, Blackwall, Iron Bull, Solas, Cassandra, even Vivienne on her good days, are my family, Leliana.” Tears threatened to fall thanks to the throbbing in my skull. “I would do anything to keep any one of them alive.”

 

“Well I’ll be damned, Daggers, I didn’t know you felt that way.” Varric mocked brushing a tear from his cheek, and I chuckled at him. I saw Ashana walk towards the arguing council members. Bull offered me his arm as I followed. The song was my ringtone. I wasn’t a devout person on Earth but in Thedas I believed in their Maker; if Solas could be a God then why couldn’t their Maker be real as well. I sang along, standing next to Ashana, leaning against Bull’s chest so I didn’t fall over.

 

People kneeled before Ashana. They believed in her. She walked off behind the tents with Solas.

Bull hoisted me up onto one of his shoulders. I kind of wanted to start singing Sera’s song, I was feeling kind of loopy. “Bull?”

 

“Yeah?” I started cracking up, no clue why. Maybe I knocked a few screws loose in my brain. “What is it, Shadow? Why are you laughing?”

 

“Let’s go get a drink.” Bull nods and we headed towards the fire near our tents.

 

We talked about ourselves for a while, Bull has so many stories. I started talking about things I had seen on TV like The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. He seemed in awe. “...then the vampire was impregnated after the witch died at her wedding.” He roared in laughter, nearly falling over.

 

“Does all of this really happen where you’re from? Witches and fanged demons running wild? Damn, your life was more interesting where you used to live.”

“It’s not real life, it’s actors that dress up like witches and fanged demons. It’s for entertainment. Like a book or theater.”

“But how would the actors fit in a damned metal box?” We talked few a little while longer, try as I might to explain a television to him. He scooped me up and brought me to my tent as I was falling asleep in his lap. I laid sprawled on his chest, snoring lightly according to him, all night. For some reason, I sleep better when he cuddles with me.

“Asa’ma’lin! Are you awake?” Ashana’s high-pitched voice rang in my throbbing, pointed ears. How can someone who was just thrown around by a nine-foot blighted magister be so bubbly before the sun came up? I groaned and buried my face into Bull’s chest. His deep laugh reverberating into my headache. She flipped open the flap of the tent. “Good morning Iron Bull. Mind if I wake my sister?” I felt Bull's shrug.

 

“Why couldn’t Tylenol be a thing in Thedas? My head is pounding.” I said into the furs covering most of my face.

 

“I have no clue what that is, sister, but we are leaving for a new stronghold. Time to get up. Go see Adan for some Elfroot and Embrium for that headache.” She practically bounced out of the tent. I desperately miss coffee.

 

“Can’t we leave for Skyhold tomorrow?” I asked in a pleading voice.

 

“Is that what the new place is called? Do you know if there will be a tavern?” Bull asked. This made me laugh.

 

“There will be a tavern called Herald’s Rest. You will have a room attached to it because you are basically there all the time anyway.” I giggled.

 

I had been sorely mistaken to have thought the trip to Skyhold would be even remotely brief or any warmer than Haven. It took us 6 days to arrive. We had to stop several times to tend to the sick and wounded. It was cold but I gladly gave up my wool cloak to a child. The little girl thanked me profusely as did her mother, it made me feel amazing to give her something she needed and to witness the sweetest smile I have ever seen on the face of a four-year-old. Bull kept me warm when he carried me.

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Relief washed over me when we walked across Skyhold’s bridge. Also the smell of rotting wood. Skyhold was in disrepair, though Cullen assured us it could be made functional again. A week later Ashana was made Inquisitor, she asked me if I had known about it, “Of course I did Ash. I know what happens in the near future remember?”

“Josephine or Cassandra?” She asked, wondering who told me not to tell her.

“Both, and Cullen.” She blushed at his name. “You should go talk to him, he is a good man. If you need any help come to me.” I shooed Ashana towards where Cullen stood at a makeshift desk near the tents for the injured were set up.

Chapter Text

Ashana returned from the Fallow Mire after two months. I had convinced Iron Bull to share a tent with me, he hadn't gone with Ashana. "Why are we camping so close to the gates Shadow?" Bull asked one day.

"You'll see, be patient Bull." After an hour I heard it, Chief Movran The Under, throwing goat carcasses at Skyholds gates. I doubled over laughing as Cassandra came storming out of the barn. Bull started laughing when she dragged him into Skyhold by his ear, like a five-year-old who had misbehaved in the grocery store.

 

Ashana and I had started taking over the tavern every night, it was too cold to be outside at night. Usually everyone but Vivienne would show up for drinks and Wicked Grace. Solas often sat at the end of the table reading. I would sit on Bull’s lap after we were done playing cards.

The weather in Skyhold was much warmer than I had anticipated, Josephine had acquired new clothing for myself and Ashana. She wore the outfit with a red undershirt, thick leather vest and a white scarf, boots and gloves.

Vivienne had me in something I would describe as a thin wrapped shirt, cut way too low, with lace trim. A corset kept the shirt closed and lilac lace and leather sleeves wrapped gently down to my wrists. The breeches bareed more skin than the top; open laces trailed from my hips to my ankles. Iron Bull almost choked on a piece of ram meat when he saw me in it last night. I had to comment.

“What’s wrong Bull? You don’t like it?” I smirked and he went back to eating. The top showed way more of my cleavage than necessary. I complained to Viv that no one needed to see my breasts, or at least this much of them.

 

Not only did Hawke show up, but she brought Fenris and Prince Sebastian. I always thought Hawke would be a male in a live version of DA:2 but I just saw Marian Hawke on the battlements with Varric. I followed Ashana up to meet with Varric and Hawke. “Cassandra is going to murder him for this.” I said, fully intent on stopping Cassandra, but she would still try. We both came down the steps of the small alcove-like part of the battlements where the three blasts from my video game past stood with Varric.

“AH! Daggers and Fluffy! Come, there’s a few people I want you ladies to meet.” Varric hooted, then I introduced them.

“Marian Hawke, Fenris, and The Prince of Starkhaven, Sebastian Vael. A pleasure. I am Shadow Bastien, Seer of the Inquisition.” Hawke’s mouth hung open in disbelief.

Sebastian glowered at me and then at Varric. “I thought you said no one knew we were here Varric?” He was just as much of an asshole as he was in the game.

“When I say that, it doesn’t include Daggers here. Probably best not to scowl or piss her off Sebastian. Her nickname is ‘Daggers’ for a reason, and her plaything is a seven-foot tall Qunari.” I raised a brow at Varric but said nothing.

“This is my younger sister, and the Inquisitor, Ashana.” I introduced Ashana as my little sister out of habit anymore. Besides her being slightly taller than me, we were very similar, minus the vallaslin. “And Varric is right, have you not heard what I did to the envy demon at Therinfal?”

“That was YOU?” Hawke seemed amazed. I nodded.

“It was. Varric was there, as was my seven-foot tall Qunari plaything.” I felt his gaze on me, almost like a true Seer. He was coming to get me for our evening meal and drinks with our friends. “Hello Bull.” He picked me up by my waist with one arm and I planted a loud kiss on his cheek.

 

Sebastian’s mouth was now the one grazing the stone. “You weren’t kidding. He’s massive. How do you two--” Varric cut him off with a clearing of his throat.

“I, personally don’t want to know the specifics there. ” Ashana announced, loudly. Bull and I laughed.

“I will let you all speak about Crestwood and Warden Stroud. Please, join us in the tavern when you’re finished.” My Ferelden accent and proper language use was getting better the more time I spent around the people of Skyhold. I could feel Hawke’s amazement as Bull hauled me to the tavern.

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“I miss music.” I said once I was drunk enough to not care what spilled out of my mouth.

“Are you daft? The bard plays music every night, Shadow.” Sera chimed in.

“I meant the music from where I am from. I miss that. Maryden has a nice one about you though Sera.” I laughed and started singing along with the bard.

My phone was tucked into a drawer in my room, it had forty-five percent battery left last time I turned it on. It was almost too tempting to put in my earbuds and listen to the playlist I had downloaded off of Spotify before I started moving home. Mostly I look at pictures of me and my dad, and my friends Mason and his twin sister Madison. They were literally my only friends. Madison even spent a week in a tent so she didn’t have to stay home alone while Mason went hunting with us one year.

I shook my head, erasing the thought. “We did have a few Thedosian songs where I’m from, even the one about you Sera.” I giggled, Sera glared at me and then started to laugh as well. Bull had wrapped his arms around my waist as I took a long drink.

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I finally was alone in the small, temporary bath tent. The baths in the keep were currently being repaired. I decided last night to pull my phone out while lying in bed and listen to a couple of my songs. Blown Away by Carrie Underwood was now stuck in my head. I had been humming it to myself all day, Blackwall stared at me like I had gone mad while I helped him chop wood.

I started washing myself in one of the bath tubs that sat on coals in the ground, Ashana’s idea. I decided to take my time today, still humming the song as I washed myself, I hadn’t realized I was singing it out loud.

“Dry lightning cracks across the skies. Those storm clouds gather in her eyes” I started washing my hair as I sang the next verse. “Daddy was a mean old mister. Mama was an angel in the ground” I probably stood there and washed dirt and grime and blood from my hair and body for an hour.

 

“The weatherman called for a twister. She prayed blow it down. There's not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house, there’s not enough wind in Oklahoma to rip the nails out of the past. Shatter every window till it's all blown away, Every brick, every board, every slamming door blown away. Till there's nothing left standing, nothing left of yesterday.”

I kept singing as I toweled myself off. I didn’t realize people had begun to gather to listen to me, I always thought I was horrible at singing. I only ever did it in the shower at home.

“Every tear-soaked whiskey memory blown away, blown away. She heard those sirens screaming out. Her daddy laid there passed out on the couch. She locked herself in the cellar, Listened to the screaming of the wind. Some people called it taking shelter, she called it sweet revenge. Shatter every window till it's all blown away, Every brick, every board, every slamming door blown away. Till there's nothing left standing, Nothing left of yesterday. Every tear-soaked whiskey memory blown away,
Blown away, blown away, blown away, blown away”

I was mostly dressed when I heard a large group of people clapping, even Bull and half of the companions. I turned around, I had never sang in front of people before. And these people have never heard this kind of music before. I need to figure out how to charge my phone. I was surprised no one said anything about my semi-southern accent. I hurried up to my room and put my things away, Bull, Varric, Sera and Blackwall came to my room about ten minutes later.
“I didn’t know you could sing Daggers, that song was intense.” Varric seemed impressed.

“Is there nothing you can’t do, Shadow? What was that song?” Iron Bull asked. I crossed my bedroom and took my phone out of the drawer. All of them looked at me like I was crazy. I turned my phone on, grabbed the empty basin bowl and played Kerosene by Miranda Lambert, using the bowl to amplify the sound.

“What is that? It plays music?” Blackwall had a quizzical look on his face, Ashana came in as well.

“It’s a cellphone. A lot like a sending crystal, but it runs on electricity. It can take pictures, play music and make calls. It’s a normal thing for people to use regularly where I’m from.” I snapped a picture of the five of them and showed them. I slid my finger and showed them a photo of my dad.

“But he’s human? And you’re all elfy?” Sera asked.

“These are newer.”I said pointing at my ears. “They showed up when I got to Thedas. This is what I meant when I said I miss music.” I turned my phone off and put it back. “Come on, time to eat.” I refused to wear a corset to supper, so I just wore another of Vivienne’s outfit choices, a low-cut dress with leggings. I refused to wear the ridiculous shoes though. So I let bull carry me to the tavern, barefoot.

Chapter Text

I may have pissed off Vivienne, but just as if I was playing the game, I ignore her bitching. Though, here she tends to follow me around instead of just staying on her perch in the hall. “Vivienne, I am NOT wearing that hideous excuse for green taffeta. I told you, I want something I can move in. I will wear silk brocade, but that Orlesian fabric makes it hard to move and I think I’m allergic to it.” I complained as I scratched at the rash beginning to bloom on my left arm.

“But Seer…”

“I said no, Viv.” I stalked off and headed to talk to Krem. He was in the yard practicing his shield bash with Iron Bull. I always hated Gatt, maybe I’ll get to slap him for real instead of in my head. Ashana came up behind me, she was on her way to talk to Bull, probably for Demands of the Qun. “Hello boys.” This had become my signature greeting, Ashana even used it occasionally.

“Boss, Shadow.” I offered to take over for Krem.

“Let me show you how to shield bash krem, I need to talk to Bull.” He handed me the shield. “So Bull, your report has come in and they want us to go to the Storm Coast, we need to stop a ship from getting into the canals with Red Lyrium.” He tried to rush me and I blocked his shield bash. “You’ll have to do better than that.” I smirked, Cullen had taught me to block before I went to Therinfal.

“I keep forgetting about that Seer stuff. Yes, they want us there next week.” He rushed at me again and I moved out of the way in a flourish of red hair and a swish of my lilac skirt.

“I know every move before you do, Bull.” I smirked as he rushed at me again. This time I let go of the shield and backflipped out of the way, landing with a drag of my feet and my hand on the ground. I didn’t know I could do THAT but hey, it worked. “We will leave tomorrow, is that alright Ash?” Ashana nodded. “I need to go change and train.”

I kissed Bull on the cheek and went to go get the clothes I had arrived to Thedas in. I had been wearing them for training because they were easier to move in. “She would get down with somebody I know, I guess that’s just how it goes when you break up in a small town.” I was singing Sam Hunt’s Break Up In A Small Town while throwing daggers at a target. “I see our friends and they put on a show. Like they don't want me to know so they give me the go-around. But there's only so many streets, so many lights I swear it's like I can't even leave my house. Shoulda known all along, You gotta move or move on when you break up in a small town.” Someone tapped me on the shoulder and I pulled an earbud out of my ear.

“You know so many songs. What’s in your ears?” Ashana asked and she saw my phone in my hoodie pocket. Dorian had helped me charge it with some of his storm magic. I stuck the earbud in her ear and she jumped. “IT’S SO LOUD!” I swiped through my playlist, all of it was country music. I clicked on International Harvester and the sound of the harvester made Ashana jump.
Ashana and I sat and listened to half of my playlist, she loved it. She stood and gave me a crushing hug when Cassandra came to get her for her dress fitting. We had to endure Vivienne for a short time longer, but I had been drawing up my dress myself.

I shoved my earbud back in its place and grabbed my bow after choosing my favorite song to listen to. “If I die young bury me in satin. Lay me down on a bed of roses, Sink me in the river at dawn. Send me away with the words of a love song.” I kept singing as I loosed arrows, the sun was beginning to sink behind the mountains, I was almost done with my song and was letting the words just spill out. “And I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom. I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger. I've never known the lovin' of a man, but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand. There's a boy here in town says he'll love me forever. Who would have thought forever could be severed by the sharp knife of a short life, Well I've had just enough time.” I had started to gather up my arrows when a realization hit me in the cruelest way.

The Band Perry explained my disappearance on Earth in words, and I was just realizing it.

I have been gone from my home for almost a year. My dad would have had a lovely funeral for me. They would have played this song. Mason and Madison would have insisted on it, they knew it was my favorite. There would be Pink Roses everywhere. I could picture it in my head.
Pictures of me dressed head-to-toe in camo, holding up a deer head by its antlers and smiling up at my dad. The one in my dad’s boat when I fell into Cuivre River while we were fishing. Three-year-old me catching my first fish. Madison and I laying on a beach in the South Padre Islands in Texas during spring break. My baby pictures. Graduation photos from High School and College. Prom with Mason and Madison.

My dad lost my mom, but had me for 23 years, and now, I was gone too. The thought of him alone hurt, tears that once threatened now fell. Madison had once said if I died before her she would make sure that my coffin would be pink camo, I knew she had done this. Instead of my body, things I loved would be inside, like a time capsule of my life; my bow, my pink and purple fishing pole, my favorite Cardinals hoodie, the pink dress that I wore to every formal function Madison had dragged me to. All of the things that had made me Shadow Elaine Bastien.

I couldn’t stop crying. I missed my life on Earth, but I loved my life here. It was easier here. Just then I felt his arms wrap around me, I let my bow clatter to the stone ground and cried even harder. Bull scooped me up, grabbed my bow and took me to my room.

Chapter Text

We arrived on the Storm Coast a week later. Gatt was waiting for us at his camp. I had told Ashana what to expect and told her she would have a choice to make, but not what the choice was or how it would affect things. “I’ll go with the Chargers, they’ll be safe with me, Bull.” He nodded and wrapped me in a hug.

I pulled the hood of my cloak over my head and followed Krem to take out the Venatori lower and farther from the shoreline. We sent up our signal, a few moments later I saw Gatt send theirs up. “Please save us Ash,” I whispered. I knew the Venatori Mages would soon creep up the beach towards us. I wasn’t going to make the decision for her though, just hope she made the right one.

If she saved us, Bull would be made Tal-Vashoth, but he would be loyal to the Inquisition. If she decided to save the dreadnaught, we would die, and she would have to kill Bull in a few years after Solas shoves a dying Qunari into the Winter Palace. In my game it was always an easy choice, even if I hadn’t known the repercussions, I wouldn’t sacrifice the Chargers for a dreadnaught. Relief flowed over me as I heard Bull’s war horn, the signal that we should fall back.

“Asa’ma’lin!” Ash gathered me into a hug. I knew she had felt her people were more important than an alliance with the Qunari. We started marching arm in arm towards our camp drinking some strong amber liquid from our extra water skins.

Like two teenagers, we sang ‘If I Die Young’ at the top of our lungs as we were getting drunk. Right now, it wasn’t saddening to me. It was me and my adopted sister celebrating that we were alive.

“I’VE NEVER KNOWN THE LOVIN’ OF A MAN, BUT IT SURE FELT NICE WHEN HE WAS HOLDIN’ MY HAND!” We sang in unison. It was her favorite song now too. “THERE’S A BOY HERE IN TOWN, SAYS HE’LL LOVE ME FOREVER, WHO WOULDA THOUGHT FOREVER COULD BE SEVERED BY THE SHARP KNIFE OF A SHORT LIFE!” Bull chuckled as did Solas and Varric.

“What?” We asked together and erupted into a fit of laughter.

“Neither of you have ever been with a man? Even you Daggers?” Varric asked as he laughed. I shook my head.

“Is that an issue? Is there some law in Thedas that says I can’t be a virgin?” I slurred the last word and everyone laughed. We finally reached our camp up the beach. “Why is this such shocking news? Not every woman sleeps with someone just to do it, Varric.” I took another long drink as I deposited my weapons in my tent.

“My keeper tried to bond me with a man who was very mean, he had anger issues. When I said no my keeper told me I needed to go to the Conclave.” Ashana said.

“I only had one male friend where I lived, and he was like a brother to me. I never met a man who understood why I enjoyed to be out in the woods or out on a lake.” I sat down on Bull’s lap. He never once judged or criticized me for being good with a bow. Tease me, sure. But never once had he said a woman belongs in a kitchen and not holding a weapon. “I liked hunting and fishing, I liked going to sports events and doing a lot of things that only “men should like to do”.”

“That’s stu-stupid!” Ashana tried to yell. “If a woman can’t defend herself, what good is she?” She said.

“My dad said the same thing, even where I’m from there were dangers. Rapists aren’t executed like they are here, just imprisoned for a time and released. Murderers go free every day, even if judged by a jury of their peers.” I took another drink.

“So men are assholes where you’re from. Is that what you’re trying to say Daggers?” Varric asked. I nodded my head.

“Exactly. I wasn’t devout, saving myself for marriage or anything like that. Just didn’t find a guy I liked enough to sleep with.” Ashana sat in front of me and I started braiding her long blonde hair, my tongue sticking out as I tried to concentrate. Solas chuckled at us. Friggin egghead.

“Nug or nug?” Bull asked, Ashana and I were sitting under what I can only describe as a canopy. Furs around our shoulders nursing mugs of Maaras-Lok. Both of us were so drunk that I may have called Solas an egghead to his face.

“I mean, if nug is the only option here.” I retorted with a giggle that turned into hysterical laughter between me and Ashana. Bull had four nugs roasting spit-style over our fire. Me drunk plus having a charged phone and a bowl… this equals an entertaining night. The sun was now going down and i turned on my phone and clicked on my downloaded music. I started singing along again, Ashana joined in when she realized what song it was, Better Dig Two by The Band Perry.

“I told you on the day we wed
I was gonna love you 'til I's dead
Made you wait 'til our wedding night
That's the first and the last time I wear white
So if the ties that bind ever do come loose
Tie em in a knot like a hangman's noose
'Cause I'll go to heaven or I'll go to hell
Before I'll see you with someone else
Put me in the ground
Put me six foot down
And let the stone say:
Here lies the girl whose only crutch
Was loving one man just a little too much
If you go before I do
I'm gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two
Well,
It won't be whiskey, won't be meth
It'll be your name on my last breath
If divorce or death ever do us part
The coroner will call it a broken heart
Ooh, ooh
I took your name when I took those vows, I meant them back then and I mean them right now.” The song ended and Bull and Varric were gawking.

“She is saying that she would murder her husband if he decides she isn’t what he wants anymore. Then she would kill herself.” I explained as best I could in my fuzzy state. I switched it to another song and just swayed, bumping Ashana’s shoulder giggling.

Chapter Text

I was woke up, yet again, by Ashana’s high pitched squeal as she jumped on my huge bed. “Asa’ma’lin! Wake up!”

“I’m up, I’m up! What is it?” Ashana had begun jumping on the bed.

“Your dress is here! And it’s beautiful!” I smiled and threw myself out of bed, dragging Ashana by her hand down to the hall and into Josephine’s office.

“It’s just like I pictured.” My hands flew up over my mouth as tears started to pool in my eyes. It was just like the one Madison had me wear. Almost an exact replica. A pink, form-fitting dress with a skirt that flowed beautifully from her natural waistline. The halter-type bodice encrusted with jewels, and the blush colored skirt was split up to the hip on the left side. I was very glad Ashana had taught me how to shave my legs with a straight blade.

“Also, Lady Seer,” Josephine pulled out two boxes and set them on her desk. I crossed the room and opened the larger box, the shoes I had drawn. Vivienne had scoffed at me and said no one could make them. Here they sat on a satin pillow. Shoes that looked like you opened a fade rift and pulled them out of my closet; pink pearls covered every inch of them, the heels added six inches to my height. I opened the small box and inside was a pink mask with halla horns. Our gowns sat side by side on Orlais version of mannequins, everything the same save for the colors. Ashana’s gown, shoes and mask were a teal-blue.

“You will be announced as Seer of the Inquisition right after the Inquisitor herself is announced. You will walk behind her and Gaspard to meet the Empress. Have you chosen someone to accompany you?”

“The Iron Bull, I will ask him at supper. No one else has seen our dresses yet?” Josie shook her head.

“No one will see them until you enter the ballroom. I do love surprises. I also love the design of your matching gowns.”

“Remember, our weapons must be hidden near the servant’s quarters behind one of the statues, we won’t have time to change into armor.” I reminded Josephine. “We will leave them in the same place, someone will need to move them into the Royal Wing while Ashana dances with Florianne and the focus is on them.” I had told them most of what would happen at the Winter Palace already. I did not tell them Florianne was behind it, Ashana needed the proof before she blindly accused her.

“Yes, Seer. Leliana’s agents will be able to move the weapons without being noticed. And do try to stay clear of blood please, use your ranged weapons. These dresses are two of a kind.” Josephine knew us too well. We both laughed.

Ashana and I made our way to the tavern talking animatedly about the ball. “Hey, Bull!” Ashana said as she saw him. “How’s your shoulder?”

“Better. Did you need somethin’ Boss? Shadow?”

“Will you accompany me at the Winter Palace? Josephine insists it isn’t “proper” to walk by myself.” I rolled my eyes at Josephine every time she brought it up, I finally just gave in.

“You want me to walk you down a ballroom full of rich Orlesian assholes in masks? Didn’t Josephine tell you what they think of Qunari? You will probably get laughed out of the Ball.” He said, I just shrugged. I was still in my pajamas since I had rushed down to the hall so fast.

“Shadow,” Ashana adjusted my shirt, which still showed way too much cleavage when it fell down one of my shoulders. “There.” I rolled my eyes.

“He’s seen me naked, da’len. My shoulder is not going to offend him.” Bull laughed.

“I’ll do it, just so no one else can,” Bull smirked and went back to eating.

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“Are you ready asa’ma’lin? Remember, these people are critical of elves, we will be watched closely. Everyone is waiting for us in the Ballroom, Gaspard will meet you in the courtyard when we step out.” We sat in a white carriage in front of the gates and I adjusted her mask. People could almost mistake us for each other if it weren’t for our hair. My curly red hair, usually piled high into a braided bun on my head, now flowed down to my ass, the front pulled back and tied behind my ears. Ashana’s blonde locks usually in a braid, now placed in an intricate updo on her head. Ashana stepped out first as a footman offered her his hand, the skirt of her dress flowed gracefully behind her. She had to duck out of the carriage as the horns on the mask were tall. The footman offered me his hand next and I grabbed a handful of my tulle skirt and stepped out behind Ash.

“My Lady Inquisitor! Thank you for accepting my invitation.” I laughed as Gaspard said this to me and not Ashana.

“Duke Gaspard De Chalons, I am Lady Shadow Bastien, this is Lady Inquisitor Ashana Lavellan. I will leave you to speak with him, sister.” I curtsied to the Duke with a flourish of tulle and went about getting into the storage rooms and collecting the halla statues. When I was finished I stood with Josephine at the gates.

People stare at myself and Ashana, I laughed to myself. The game did nothing to show off how excessive Orlesian fashion was. During the entirety of the game every other Orlesian is wearing the exact same outfit. That was definitely not the case; I am pretty sure one noblewoman had a live fennec over her shoulders. All I could think when I saw how the Orlesians dressed was seventeenth-century France.

Ashana walked up to us nodding. We followed Josephine into the Vestibule, which was more like a grand foyer. “I am to enter now, Gaspard and the Iron Bull will be waiting to escort you both.” Josephine entered the ballroom and a few minutes later bells rang.

I took Bull’s offered arm as they announced Ashana and Gaspard. “Grand Duke Gaspard De Chalons. And accompanying him, Lady Inquisitor Ashana Lavellan.” Gaspard offered Ashana his arm and she took it as he led her down the steps toward Empress Celene.

“Lady Shadow Bastien, Seer of the Inquisition. Accompanied by The Iron Bull, leader of the famed mercenary company, Bull’s Chargers… as the name might imply.” I had to stifle a laugh. People were staring at me. Seers were a very rare occurrence in Thedas, and they were almost always mages. I wasn’t from Thedas, which was not as noticeable as it was a year ago. Now people usually called me a Marcher elf.

“My Lady Inquisitor, My Lady Seer. Welcome to the Winter Palace.” Empress began. I had told Ashana exactly what to say to the empress to gain court approval. They needed to like us. As expected, Leliana met us in the Vestibule.

“Leliana, the occult advisor will find us. Morrigan is on our side here. She and her son Kieran will accompany us back to Skyhold when our business here is done.” I said before Ashana joined us. Gaspard was much more handsy than I had thought. Leliana nodded.

Ashana and I were heading to the garden as Bull pulled me to the side. “Save me a dance, Lady Seer?” I was glad I had a mask covering my cheeks because I blushed scarlet. Bull pushed a strand of hair back behind my ear and finally released my hand as I nodded. Ashana was trying not to laugh at my flushed face when I returned to her side.

“Focus, Ash. We have to save Celene.” She was nearly in tears trying to hold in her laugh.

“You think Bull likes your dress?” She mocked.

“He just loves me for my hair,” I said with a sweep of my hair. Ashana burst out laughing as we reached the balcony where we found a metallic cylinder. I always thought it was a seal with a message inside, it was more like a small pen.

“I will keep eyes off of you, get up the trellis behind us and check out the hidden office in the library. There is a book that will slide a shelf out of your way.” I explained where to grab another Halla statue and she was back in ten minutes. The first bell rang and we slowly made our way to the ballroom, second bell.

“Lady Morrigan. A pleasure.” I said quietly as she approached us. “You recently killed a Venatori and found a key on his body, may I?” Morrigan glared at me with her golden eyes.

“You must be the Inquisition’s Seer, then? Fascinating.” Morrigan told us she needed to get back, but that she would keep her eyes open.

I let out a sharp whistle, mostly masked by the music, but our companions heard it. Varric, Sera, Bull, and Blackwall joined us. We found our weapons and entered the Servant’s wing. Blackwall made a quip about “Ladies” fighting. Ashana whacked him in the ass with her staff.

“That is Gaspard’s family crest, but that doesn’t mean he killed Philippe,” I said, trying to be as vague as possible. “Someone could’ve stolen his dagger.” We were interrupted by Venatori and a Harlequin that was chasing an elven woman. I riddled the Venatori with arrows as Ashana froze them, the Harlequin got up to the balcony though after he killed the servant.

“Follow me.” I said as I hopped off the wall where I had been perched. Ashana had kicked off her shoes in the courtyard, she could get them on our way back. We made short work of the Venatori in the upper level of the servant’s quarters, Briala was actually much more brash than I had expected.

“Ladies, finally slumming it in the Servant’s quarters with the rest of your people… for once.” Bull had stepped between myself and Briala protectively.

“Don’t worry Qunari, I won’t hurt your pet.” I stepped in front of Bull then. And Varric had to chime in.

“I think he is more worried about Daggers hurting you and breaking off one of her perfect nails, than you actually getting the chance to hurt her.” Varric chuckled. Briala turned to Ashana.

“What could you do with an army of elven spies at your disposal?”

“You sure do know how to make a sales pitch, I’ll give you that, Ambassador.”

“I do, don’t I?” She finished her little bribery speech and left. Bull hopped down first and offered us help down, which Ashana took. I landed behind him when I jumped down.

“Get me access!” I heard Ashana said as she walked away from the Advisors.
“Is everything in place?” Leliana nodded. I whistled again and the companions were at my side once more with Ashana. We moved quickly and quietly towards the Royal wing, the vestibule practically empty right now.

“I wish I had worn my armor.” I grumbled as we moved through the palace. I unlocked Celene’s bedroom door and laughed when I saw the soldier tied up on the bed. ”Orlesians.” We untied him and told him he may need to testify. I kicked a prowler out of a window, probably breaking several of her ribs with my heel.

“Go to the ballroom and find Commander Cullen, he will keep you safe.” Ashana told the elf. I led them to the door of the courtyard and warned Ashana about the fade rift on the other side.

“Ah. The Inquisitor and the Lady Seer. I was afraid you would miss this part, Seer.”

“If only you had been so lucky, Florianne. I knew it was you the entire time. We just needed the proof.” Florianne gawked but straightened her face quickly.

“Kill them, bring me the marked hand as proof.” Arrows loosed at both myself and Ashana, the both of us jumping and rolling out of the way in a flourish of pink and teal tulle. She opened the rift as I shot the archers.

My bare knee was scraped to hell from the stone of the courtyard once we were finished. Blood trickled down my exposed left leg. Sera untied the mercenary captain and Ashana offered him and his company a place at Skyhold.

We were about to enter the ballroom when she said something about my knee. “Asa’ma’lin, you’re bleeding.” I shrugged.

“It’s just a scraped knee Ash.” To make her feel better I tore a piece of cloth from a white sheet that covered a statue and wrapped my knee.
We walked into the ballroom and handed our weapons to Cullen. “Wait here Cullen, I am going to have a word with the Duchess.” Ashana said as she ushered me to her side. I still had my dagger strapped to my right thigh, Florianne was too dangerous to keep alive. Ashana and I made our way slowly through the throng of nobles. “We need to speak to Grand Duchess Florianne.” I said to the guard, he stepped aside and let us pass. We stepped up to where Florianne was speaking to Gaspard.

“We owe the court one more show, Your Grace.” Ashana announced loudly.

“Inquisitor, Seer.”

“The eyes of every noble in the empire are upon us Your Grace. Remember to smile.” I said as Ashana and I ascended the marble steps, both of us with sweet smiles on our faces. “This is your party, you wouldn’t want them to think you’d lost control.”

“Who would not be delighted to speak with you ladies?” Florianne began to get nervous and backed away from us.

“I seem to recall you saying that all you needed to do was keep us out of the ballroom long enough to strike.” Ashana nearly spat the words.

“When your archers failed to kill us in the garden, I feared you wouldn’t save the Inquisitor and I this last dance.” I said as Ashana and I walked around her, like sharks circling a seal.
“It’s so easy to lose your good graces, you even framed your own brother for the murder of a Council Emissary.” Ashana said, nearly grinding her teeth.

“It was an ambitious plan, Celene, Gaspard, the entire Council of Heralds… All of your enemies under one roof.” I said, a sweet, calm smile still across my face.

“This is very entertaining, but you don’t imagine anyone believes your wild stories?” Florianne almost stuttered, her words and tone of voice giving her away.

“That will be a matter for a judge to decide, cousin.” Celene said looking down at the three of us.

“Gaspard? You cannott believe this? You know I would never…” Gaspard and Briala walked up the steps away from Florianne, the guards started coming towards her.

“At least this time, justice will be swift.” I said as I grabbed the dagger at my thigh and pushed it into her chest. Ashana asked the Empress to meet with us in private. We argued that Briala should rule beside Celene, and Gaspard should be exiled.

Bull offered me his arm, I watched as Cullen stepped out onto the balcony where Ashana had fled from the Orlesians. I took Bull’s arm and he led me onto the dance floor.

Chapter Text

“I’m never gonna get this out.” I looked down at my halla leather armor. It was the Dalish Scout Armor I absolutely loved in the game, and it was covered in dragon blood. “Dorian is going to kill me.” I laughed as did everyone else. I pulled my new Silverite daggers out of the dragon’s skull and slid down the beast's neck.

“Has Ashana made it to Verschiel with Sera yet?” I asked, they had left Skyhold at the same time we did, though Verschiel was a bit further than the Hinterlands.

“They just arrived the day before yesterday, apparently they’re already on their way back,” Solas said. I laughed hysterically when I had Sera kill that ass-biscuit it was the best part of my playthrough.

“I wish I could’ve gone. Watching Sera kill that asshole in person would’ve been better than seeing it in my head.” Bull and Solas laughed, Vivienne just crossed her arms and made a face. “May the Dread Wolf take you, Vivienne…” I shot daggers at Solas without realizing it and I’m pretty sure he caught it. “On second thought, he probably doesn’t like you either.” Everyone laughed.

That night my raven returned, Leliana had given me one of her messengers so I could send reports to her in the field. She quickly figured out she couldn’t keep me in Skyhold.

“Your bird is back, marvelous.” Vivienne was the master at eye rolling. The bird landed on my shoulder and I gave her a piece of the bread I was nibbling on.

“It’s a message from Leliana.” I said pulling the small piece of rolled paper from the bird's message cylinder on its ankle? Do birds have ankles?

“What does Red want us to go kill now, Shadow?” Bull asked.

“She wants us back in Skyhold by week’s end actually, the Inquisition’s troops are going to start marching on Adamant. She needs to know who is going with the Inquisitor and who is staying behind.” I looked at the ground, remembering the game, and how Therinfal shook me. I couldn’t face the Fear demon, even though I didn’t want Ashana to go into the fade either, she has to get her memories back from Fear.

“I know the Inquisitor asked you to accompany us,” Dorian said, looking at my armor in disgust.

“I-I can’t. Demons still make me shake, even Rage and Pride demons. If I knew I wouldn’t just shut down, I would go.” I had told Ashana she would fall into the fade and that she should take Solas, Cole, and Blackwall. I couldn’t tell her about Fear, she wouldn’t go if I did.

“We will leave for Skyhold in the morning,” I said before entering my tent.

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“And the dealer wins again.” Josephine declares. Everyone looked at Cullen and laughed. “Never bet against an Antivan, Commander,” Josie smirked and I just laughed.

“It comes off, I didn’t know it came off.” Cole had a hint of a smile on his face.

“I tried to warn you Curly.” Varric said laughing. Sera was still passed out drunk under the table. Ashana, myself and Bull were the only ones still sitting at the table when Cullen fled to his chambers.

“Ashana!” I drunkenly whispered. “He’s naked… in his loft. Why are you still sitting in Herald’s Rest?” I giggled. Ashana laughed and finished her drink, slowly chasing after Cullen.

“Let’s go, Badass.” Bull hoisted me over his shoulder like I was a three-year-old and I giggled.

“Where are we going, Bull? I wanna go to bed.” I laughed and smacked his ass.

“We are going to bed.” I cocked an eyebrow as he carried me up the stairs of the tavern. “Just not your bed.”

I passed out as soon as my head hit his pillow. I woke the next morning but I was hot, too hot. I rolled over and got a faceful of Iron Bull’s chest. I just laid there in his arms tracing the scars on his chest with my nails. I didn’t notice him watching me. He had that stupid grin on his face again.

“I didn’t know you were awake, I’m sorry.” I said pulling my hand away. He gently grabbed it back and laid it back on his chest and pulled me closer. I giggled as he nuzzled into my neck. Teeth grazed my jaw, making me squirm. His calloused hands trailed along my bare waist and sent chills up my spine.

Bull whispered in my ear, Qunlat words, I only recognized a few of them, they seemed almost reverent. “How far do you want to go, Shadow?” He asked, his fingers tracing a path along my thigh and pushing the sheets away. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my lips gently to his.

Bull’s hands teased the skin of my thighs, spreading them slowly. His free hand gripped the hem of my nightshirt and pulled it over my head. My skin throbbed under his light touches and caresses. His lips crushed mine in hungry kisses as his hand moved higher still until he reached the apex of my thighs and they shook with each brush of his fingers.

Bull teased at my clit with his thumb and my moans were muffled by our kiss. He rubbed his finger against my lips and it felt like my senses were flayed at the edges. I clawed at his back and felt his hard cock grind against my hip, his pants of breath fanning against my neck. Suddenly it was too much, my eyes shut so tight my vision went white as I came around his fingers.

Bull rolled me over onto my side and pulled me against him. “I want you, but I don’t think that tight little cunt of yours is ready for me quite yet,” Bull murmured.

He spread the slickness of pussy between my thighs. “Are you trying to make a mess, here, Bull?” I huffed.

“Yep. Sure am,” he grinned and slid his cock between my legs. “Now tighten ‘em up a little,” he growled in my ear. His hand that’d been resting against my thigh pressed me hard into the bed. I flexed my thighs, giggling as he lost himself to the sensations. “Asaaranda,” he grunted. He swore in Qunlat and Trade by turns. “My Asaaranda.” the shaft of his cock ran against my lips and the tip teased at my clit.

“Please, Bull,” I whined.

He stuck two fingers in my mouth and I sucked at them hard and gasped when he pulled away. With his slick fingers he pinched and tugged at my clit.

“Fuck,” I sobbed.

“Are you gonna cum for me?” His breath was hot against my neck and he bit at my earlobe. His words were my undoing, I came loudly, blinded by my orgasm.

Bull situated my legs around his waist, and slowly, achingly so, he entered me. I felt a twinge of pain surge through me and then I just felt like soaring out of my skin. He didn’t move for several minutes, just the full feeling of him inside made me writhe in ecstasy. He started to move me, his hands around my waist and my head laying on his shoulder.

Bull moved me slowly, cupping my ass and sliding only half of his cock into me. My pleas echoed through the small room. His grunts turned to heated moans. Our breathing was sharp and staccato. His teeth grazed my collarbone, and I was on the precipice of losing myself again. He quickened his pace, his arms around my torso as we both went over the edge, he spilled into me. “Kadan.” the whispered word escaped my lips before I could stop them, my forehead rested against his.

“Kadan,” he murmured in agreement. We sat like this for awhile, I eventually fell back to sleep in his arms.

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Two weeks later, and many nights spent with Iron Bull naked in my bed, everyone was preparing to leave for Adamant. I didn’t want any of them to leave. I was afraid for them.

“Don’t miss me too much, Daggers.” Varric said as I hugged him.

“I await our next game of wicked grace. Now I need to hug my sister.” I peeled myself from Varric’s deathgrip.

“Shadow!” Ashana crushed me with a hug out of nowhere.

“Be safe, Ash. Ar lath ma asa’ma’lin. Remember what I told you.” My raven landed on my shoulder then I placed her on Ashana’s shoulder. “Send me messages, Hera knows to come straight to me.” I hugged her once more and pat the bird on it’ head.

Bull came over and scooped me up by my waist and planted a lingering kiss against my lips. The dragon tooth necklace around his neck, mine wrapped around my right wrist. “Be safe, Kadan.” I said, my forehead against his.

“Always, my Asaaranda.” He kissed my forehead and set me down on my feet. I stood at the gates of Skyhold, watching as they marched away. My stomach twisted in knots just thinking of what happens; of what is going to happen. Ashana is going to yell at me when she gets back.

I felt sick to my stomach, the stress was eating away at me. I hadn’t told any of them what awaited them in Adamant, in the Fade. Not fully anyway. I couldn’t. None of them would’ve gone, but Fear needed to be dealt with. I turned around and got sick in the bare bushes near the stone of the bridge.

I went up to my room and shed my clothing, putting on one of the light nightdresses Josephine had had made for me and Ashana. I was hot, I laid down in bed and was quickly asleep. I dreamt of the fear demon, I woke with a start and got sick again, this time in the bucket I had placed next to my bed. What was wrong with me?
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A month had passed and I was still getting so sick, I knew they had defeated the fear demon already, that stress had come and gone and they were all alive and heading back to Skyhold. I couldn’t keep much down.

“What is wrong Seer? Love Sickness?” Leliana made a joke? I was pale and feverish.

“No Leliana, I think I am actually sick. I know Bull is safe and on his way back.” I said weakly. “I am not a lovesick teenager.” I tried my best to scowl at her. “I think I have Thedas’ version of the flu.”

“Why don’t you go see Adan. Have him give you some embrium and crystal grace for that fever. The Inquisitor and her companions should return by next week’s end.”

“Thanks Leliana. I’ll see you later.” We nodded to each other and I padded my way out of the keep and over to Adan’s makeshift clinic. “Adan.”

“Lady Seer, how may I help you today?” He looked me over, I was sweating as I broke another fever.

“I’ve been sick for nearly a month, do you have anything that will allow me to break this fever? Or stop me from throwing up every time I smell that horrid cheese?” Adan’s eyes fell to my stomach.

“Have you been with anyone Lady Seer? When was your last moon cycle?” My last what? I had no idea what he was asking me. I had to land in Thedas.

“Um? My what?” I looked at him again, obviously not having a clue what he meant.

“The last time you bled Lady Seer, when was that?” My eyes widened in shock. Was that possible?

“Nearly two moons ago Adan… I think we both know what the answer to my illness is now.” Adan nodded and handed me a vial of some smokey-white liquid.

“This will ease the sick feeling so you can eat. Have Dorian look at you when they return.” I nodded and headed back up to my room. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to think the word, let alone speak it. It wasn’t like condoms were a thing in Thedas, I did ask. I wasn’t scared of childbirth, or raising a child in general. But bringing a child into this world.

Did Bull even want children? We hadn’t talked about it. I got up from my bed and went to my desk in the corner of the room, it faced the courtyard and Tavern; I wrote to Ashana that I needed Bull back to Skyhold urgently. A quick whistle and Hera was on my shoulder from her perch next to my bed. “To Ash, Hera.” I told the raven as i slid the rolled note into it’s cylinder.

Chapter Text

“Where is she?” I could hear him, could hear the worry in his voice. But I was so tired. My eyes refused to open. “Asaaranda? Why is she sleeping in the middle of the day?” Damn eyes, open!

“Kadan?” I turned over and heaved into the bucket at my bedside.

“Asa’ma’lin? What is wrong with my sister, Josie?” I hadn’t told Josephine any more than I was sick.

“She has been sick since you left, I’m not sure with what. She has spent most of her time in here and Leliana has kept her room guarded.” Bull’s arms wrapped around me. Then his hand froze as he reached my now noticeable bump.

“Oh, my Asaaranda, why didn’t you tell me?” He kissed the side of my head and I groaned.

“Most of the messages you’ve received have been from me. She’d just asked me to tell you to return with haste.” Josephine realized what was wrong now. “I truly had no idea.” Just then Cole appeared in the arm chair.

“Will he still want me? Will he still love me? My body hurts. Will he want them?” Cole and his mind-reading, ugh.

“Them?” Bull asked Cole.

“She is carrying twins. That explains why her belly is already so enlarged.” Ashana clarified. I heaved but nothing came up.

“Adan,” I said between dry heaves. “Get… Adan.”

A few minutes later Adan arrived in my room, the nasty white vials helped but these babies were trying to kill me it seemed.

“Try this Lady Seer.” He tipped a vial of a violet-tinted concoction down my throat and I felt almost instantly better. I sat up and rubbed my eyes.

“Asaaranda? Are you alright?” I was in his arms, my fever finally is gone but my throat raw.

“No… your children are trying to kill me here.” I coughed, the words stuck in my throat. “I am so sick. I thought I was dying until Adan realized what it was. Leliana thought I had been poisoned.”

“So did I, Shadow. Leliana sent Hera saying you were very ill.” Ashana said. “We rushed back.”

“I didn’t know this could happen. Elves and Qunari can have children together?” Bull nodded. “Are they born with horns, because I don’t think I can do this if they are.” Everyone laughed. Adan and Bull reassured me they aren’t.
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A month later I had finally stopped throwing up and Bull had moved into my room. I was so glad not to be practically glued to my bed anymore. Bull felt compelled to comment on how big my tits were getting every time I changed clothes. Ashana and Varric commented on my belly. I wore my Mizzou hoodie more than I probably should’ve been but the only other option was these flowy dresses that Josephine chose, and it was starting to get cold in Skyhold, winter must be coming.

“Asaaranda.” His arms were around me, his large hands rested protectively over my stomach. I rested my head against his chest.

“Kadan. My love, what’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing, I just wanted a kiss.” He turned me around and tipped my chin up to meet his face and placed a gentle kiss on my lips.

I walked off into the hall, thankful that no one would be leaving for the wilds for a few months. I would sometimes resign myself to sit at the table in the hall and write letters to Madison, Mason and my dad. I knew they would never see them but I wanted to tell everyone, especially Madi, what was going on in my life here. She used to play Dragon Age at my apartment when Mason and my dad went to Cardinals games. Pretty sure that my buying her all of the games for her birthday was the start of an addiction. I should’ve helped her stop smoking instead.

“What’cha writin’?” Sera asked tapping me on the shoulder.

“Letters to my family. Where are you headed… with a jar of bees?” I asked looking at the buzzing jar in her hands.

“I figured out what to do in the rotunda.” I shook my head. I did always wonder if she ever pranked Leliana.

“I would join you in your bee prank but if I got stung it could kill me. Have fun, Sera.” I went back to finishing my letter to Madison as Sera walked into the rotunda. About ten minutes later Bull came over with a plate of food for me. “That looks delicious.” I said looking at the meat and questionable cheeses.

“Adan said you need to eat, Asaaranda. You writin’ a book?” I laughed remembering the same line from the game.

“No, I am writing letters. They’ll never be seen but it’s how I cope.” Skinner had been helping me with my kills, I was surprised Bull was still letting me out to hunt with little argument.

“Daggers, Tiny.” Varric walked up and sat in the chair opposite me. And Cole appeared on the table in front of Bull.

“Must be supper time. Kid, get off the table.” Bull said. Varric was watching us and taking notes.

“What in Andraste’s name are you taking notes on Varric? It better not be on my huge belly again. Cole already tries to touch my belly.” I said. He had been trying to write about mine and Bull’s relationship since Therinfal.

“Wouldn’t dream of it Daggers, Tiny’s dark-haired elf gives me a stink-eye every time I get too close to the two of you.” I laughed. Skinner had been watching over me like a guard mabari. Cassandra had actually suggested getting Ashana one.

“I brought you fruit.” Ashana’s voice rang out and her face reminded me of a happy child. Cole started to talk to Bull while I ate.

“The Iron Bull, in one fight, you let someone hit you so they wouldn't hit me.”

“Yeah?” Bull answered.

“But you hate demons.” Cole cocked his head owlishly.

“Look Cole. You might be a weird, squirrely kid, but you’re my weird, squirrely kid.” Bull nodded in affirmation.

“Oh, thank you,” Cole said in his shakey, happy tone.

 

“Just don't make it weird. No full hugs. Maybe a one-armed slap on the back... at most.” Bull said as he put an arm over the back of my chair.

“All right.” Cole went about his weird bird-feeding with Hera, who was perched on Ashana’s shoulder. I popped a grape in my mouth and went back to writing.

“Maybe I will write a book, just to compete with Varric’s book about all this weird shit,” I said.

Varric’s laugh echoed throughout the hall.

“Your story alone would probably sell better than Hard in Hightown.” Everyone laughed at that. I wish I could tell them about Madison’s secret obsession with Varric and his chest hair. She had spent a lot of time on her fan art.

“What’s the date, Varric? Today’s date?” I asked I felt like I was forgetting something, something important.

“19th of Drakonis. Why?” Drakonis was March in Thedas. Tomorrow was my 24th birthday.

“It’s my birthday tomorrow. I almost forgot.” Madison, Mason and my dad would always take me out to lunch and then we’d go to a movie.

“We have to do something! I can have the kitchen staff make tiny cakes! I love tiny cakes.” Ashana said enthusiastically. I laughed.

“Tiny cakes sound great. Just not the ones made with deep mushroom and anise. You think I was sick before, those are worse. But don’t you still need to talk to Morrigan?” Ashana shrugged.

“We aren’t going to the Arbor Wilds until we know Corypheus is there. Morrigan says about seven months.” I wasn’t sure how pregnancy worked in Thedas. These were different circumstances than I was used to, but going by a human pregnancy our babies would only be about a month old by then.

“I’m finished, are you coming Bu--” He scooped me up and carried me to our room. I waved goodbye with a silly grin on my face. My friends were laughing their asses off.

“Asaaranda, what to do with you.” Bull set me on our bed, he was looking at me, stupid grinning.

“I have a few suggestions,” I said as I pulled my hoodie over my head and let my skirt billow to the floor.

“I like that suggestion.” He pulled his breeches down and his erect cock sprang free.

“So do I.” I said as I bit my lip. He lifted my legs and set himself between them, kissing down my tattooed chest, my fast-growing belly, the apex of my thighs. He loved putting my legs over his horns. “Kadan.” My pleading becoming insistent as he licked and sucked on my clit. He slid in a finger and I was already lost.

“Cum for me, Asaaranda.” My body shook with pleasure at his breath against my sex. It was my undoing every time. He pulled my legs off of his horns and positioned himself between my legs and rubbed his cock against my clit. My shudders giving him unspoken satisfaction. He loved to tease. He eased into my cunt, pushing himself in all the way and moving with ease in and out, enjoying my whimpers.

“My Asaaranda.” My nickname, ‘Thunderstorm’ in heated breaths against my ear made my heart beat hard against my chest. I opened my eyes and pulled his face to mine, kissing him hungrily as he moved faster now. His body jerking as he came, his lips biting and sucking at my neck.

The next morning I woke to Bull’s large hand protectively covering my belly as he slept. I just lay there in my thin nightdress wondering what Madison and Mason were doing. I couldn’t get them out of my head. The last time I saw the both of them, Madison had an awful blonde dye job covering her brown curls. Mason had a new boyfriend, who was kind of a jerk. But they always made time to come over and play video games and eat junk with me.

“Morning See--Oh, sweet Maker!” Cullen had his clipboard covering his eyes.

“Something I can do for you, Cullen? This is mine and Bull’s room. How do you think I got pregnant? Magic?” Josephine followed Cullen and Bull woke up.

“Andraste’s tits guys, can I wake up before you barge into our room?” I said, tossing a fur over Bull.

“Apologies Seer, Morrigan wishes to speak with you.” Josephine was still staring at us.

This was the intrusion from the game almost, except Cassandra wasn’t here. Madison and I always laughed our asses off at this in the game. Definitely different when it’s YOU whom they’re intruding upon. I got up, pulled my boots on, kissed Bull and headed to the war room.

“What did you need Morrigan? I was sleeping, and it is my birthday so it had better be damn good.” I said. “If it’s about the eluvian and the crossroads, I already know about both.” Morrigan’s mouth opened and closed again like I had stolen the words out of her mouth. “I even know what’s going to happen in the Arbor Wilds. Though I cannot share all of that information because it could be dangerous. But I will accompany you after my twins are born.”

“Thank you, Lady Seer. Apologies for bothering you,” Morrigan said.

I nodded and left. I would be back on my feet and in the field after these two were born. I hated the idea of leaving them for two months but Josephine assured me they would be fine.

Chapter Text

“Ashana do you have everything you need? Extra clothes? Water skin? Varric?” Ashana was going to lend aid in Orzammar. Disaster in the Deep Roads. They called it the same thing here as they did in the game. I tried explaining it to Varric and Ashana but they just gave me blank stares like I had a giant--oh wait.

 

  “I wish I could go with you, I know exactly what you need to do. I don’t know how to explain it better than I have.” I said as I rested my hands on my belly. “You’ll be fine. I’ll still be here when you get back.”  

 

  “Solas, Varric, Dorian, Let’s go.” Ashana hugged me as best she could. Only four months and I waddle. I was glad Varric was going with Ashana, it meant he wouldn’t be here to criticize how much I resembled a snoufleur.

 

  “Tell Tiny he’s missing out,” Varric said. Bull’s arms were around me.

 

  “I think he’d rather be here, you guys might be gone for four or five months,” I said. “If Adan is right in his calculations, then Bull would miss all of the fun. It should be interesting to see The Iron Bull domesticated.” I laughed.

 

  “I’m not a hound. But a few easy months would be nice. Don’t get all dead on us Boss.” Ashana smirked.

 

  “Not a chance, I wouldn’t miss the chance to meet the little ones that have been making you so sick.” We all laugh, Bull placed his hands on my belly and was kicked.

 

  “Already so strong. Even being half-elf, they will grow horns.” He walked me towards the barn and stables.

 

  “Where are we going? I don’t want to walk through the kitchens again, Kadan.” He rolled his eyes and pulled the barn doors open. Two cribs made of ironbark and silverite. “Thom?” Blackwall climbed down the steps and nodded.

 

  “Lady Seer, even though I don’t approve of the way you saved my life, you still saved it. I owed you for what you said to the Inquisitor.” I was almost in tears, no one but Mason had ever made me such a useful gift.

 

  “They’re beautiful. Thank you, Thom.” I turned and pulled Bull’s face to mine. “Thank you, my love.” He wrapped his arms around my now widened waist and kissed me gently.

 

  “It was actually the Boss’ idea. She just didn’t want to see you cry.” Bull said as we walked towards the keep.

 

  “I’m not crying.” I laughed.

 

  What I really wanted was a chocolate frosty and fries from Wendy’s.

  “I miss chocolate,” I said as I ate my ram meat and spiced bread. I missed junk food in general. In the nine months, I have been here the food has made me leaner and stronger but I missed sitting on my couch with a plate of pizza rolls and a coke.

 

  I had been cleaning my room nonstop and realized I was nesting when Bull told me I wasn’t a maid. “I can’t help it. I feel like nothing in here is clean enough. I have made the bed five times today, Kadan.” I said. Bull laughed and pulled me into his lap and cuddled me.

 

  “I wish Madison were here. And Ashana. And my dad.” I couldn’t stop the tears from falling now.

 

  “I know Asaaranda, but you’re not alone. I am not going anywhere. There is no reason to be afraid.” He said. But I was.

 

  I always thought Madison would be with me when I gave birth to my first child, or in this case, children. She would have been my maid of honor, the godmother of my children.

 

  “Could I borrow Skinner? I need to kill something.” Bull looked at me like I was going to eat a live chicken. “What?”

 

  “You want to go hunting? Asaaranda… just be careful.”

  

  “I always am, Kadan.” I kissed his nose and went to find Skinner. We went out and I shot down three druffalo and quite a few nugs. Iron Bull and Cole greeted me at the gates.

 

  “You really worked out some issues shootin’ those things.” Bull said.

 

  “I told you I needed something to kill. I would go mad stuck in our room all day my love. Might as well help out while I can.” I said as I handed some nugs to him.

 

  “That’s still badass. I had that brunette maid draw you a bath in our room.” Bull said as he offered his arm. I was covered in druffalo blood.

 

  He helped me peel out of my soiled clothes and into the hot water. I was instantly exhausted, Aches and soreness melted away in the hot, lavender scented water.

 

  I must’ve fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is Bull pulling me out of the water and wrapping me in a towel. “What? Let me sleep.” I grumbled. He dried my hair and pulled a nightshirt over my head. I was asleep again. I hadn’t realized how tired I actually was until Bull woke me up at lunchtime the next day.

 

  “You were tired, so I let you sleep.” He said.

 

 “You could’ve woke me for breakfast. I’m starving.” I said, sleep still a veil over my eyes. “I miss coffee.” I swung my legs over the side of the bed, got up and waddled down to Josie’s office. “What is the word on Ashana and her team in the deep roads?”

 

  “They just got to Orzammar, quakes seem to have moved the blockades keeping the Darkspawn at bay. Hera has just returned this morning, They are going deeper into the deep roads and your bird cannot go.” Good, they are going to get to the Titan’s lyrium heart soon.

 

  “They should be gone just a few more weeks Josie. The dangers are not as bad as we think, they will lose one of their dwarven guides though. Our girl and our team can take a few darkspawn.” I said.

 

  “Yes, Lady Seer,” Josephine said. I left her to go write my letter to Madison as I ate.

 

  “Well, that outfit is hardly presentable in the noble company of Skyhold.” Dorian’s voice nearly made me spill my inkwell.

 

  “Maker… has no one told you it’s rude to sneak up on people, Dorian?” I said trying to calm my breathing.

 

  “Some have told me, though I find the reaction quite amusing. Want to help me in the library today?” He asked. I nodded and had a maid take my things back to my room.

  “I’ll be there in a few minutes Dorian, if I don’t tell Bull where I am we will both have a very irate Qunari to deal with when he finds us in our illicit acts of stacking books.” We both laughed.

 

  “Go on, find your horned lover and then come and help me illicitly stack books.” Dorian bowed with a flourish and left towards the rotunda.

 

  “Lady Seer, a word.” Solas stood in my way to the stairs.

 

  “Yes, Solas?” He looked at me with his intense gaze, still not giving anything away. No wonder he wasn’t found out sooner. Egghead.

 

  “Have you seen any more of my future?” He asked. I pulled him into the space near the door leading to Cullen’s office.

 

  “Yes, but I know I can’t just change your mind. I have always known who you are, Fen’Harel.” His eyes went wide but eased.

 

  “You haven’t told anyone.” It wasn’t a question.

 

  “Would it really make a difference? Just because I can see the good in this world? The lives growing inside of me deserve a chance at life too.” I ducked my head and made my way up to the library.

 

  “You’ve arrived, good.” Dorian wrapped me in a hug.

 

  “I try to be punctual,” I said smiling. “You're squishing me, Dorian.” He released me and we went about our menial task of shelving books. We spent hours tossing meaningless insults at each other, all in good fun of course. I teased him about having a crush on one of the stable boys, he made fun of my belly.

 

  About four hours later Iron Bull found us, sitting in Dorian’s alcove, reading about the Tevinter Imperium. “There you are. Aren’t you hungry?” Bull asked.

 

  “No, we had supper brought up to us an hour ago. Dorian suggested I could teach some of the children to read and write trade. What do you think Kadan?” I asked him.

 

  “If it keeps you from hurting yourself hunting, I say go for it.” A laugh played at his lips but he held it back.

 

  “I’m obviously too large to do much hunting right now,” I said nodding towards my jerking stomach. These children never stop moving.

 

  “This one has the hiccups and this one, I swear, is trying to kick the other,” I said pointing to the different feelings in my womb.

 

  
“You look like you might explode at any minute, are you sure this is normal Shadow?” Dorian asked.

 

  “Well there is more than one baby in there, and they are half Qunari, so they’re just generally larger than let’s say human or elf children,” I said, not knowing exactly what I meant.

 

  “That makes sense. Qunari are generally larger than elves and humans.” Dorian said, laughing.

 

  “Haha, so funny.” I stuck my tongue out at him. “My children are not for your entertainment.” We all laughed at my bad joke.  

 

  “I will consider it, Dorian. I’ll be back after breakfast.” He helped me stand and Bull took my arm and led me to our room.

 

  I awoke with a start. Tiny feet kicked me from the inside as I stood. I went down to the hall and made some tea, it was so quiet.

 

  “What in Andraste's tits are you doing up, all-seeing elfy?”Sera made me jump. She was under the table.

 

  “I needed some tea… why are you under the table Sera?” Sera put her finger to her mouth and blinked. She was drunk.

 

  “Hidin' from the elfiest elf.” Solas. She was hiding from Solas.

 

  “Ah. Got it. I’ll leave you to it then.” I wandered into the rotunda, Solas was peering over his desk. “Can’t sleep?”

 

  Solas nearly jumped out of his skin, I had to stifle a laugh. “No, I couldn’t.” He said. “How long have you known who I was Seer?”

 

  “Stop worrying, you’ll get wrinkles. I’m not going to tell anyone, I just wanted you to know that I greatly disapprove of your plans.” I said seating myself in his desk chair.

 

  “Why? You have seen the death and destruction the people of this world cause. Why would you have it continue?” His face was always so hard.

 

  “Because I also see the good, Solas. I see children up in the rotunda wanting to learn to read. The parents of those children working their blood, sweat, and tears into the Inquisition. I see a bright future for my own children. But you would destroy all that could be, to restore the evil that was once Elvhenan.” I took a sip of my tea and stood. “It is ultimately your decision Solas. I am not here to change your mind. Just to tell you what I see, as an unbiased bystander.” With that, I head back to my room.

 

  “Where did you go?” Bull said as he wrapped his arm around me as I laid back down.

 

  “To get some tea and I ran into Solas,” I said. He grunted and pulled me on top of him.

 

  “Asaaranda.” He said and then he was snoring again. I laid on his chest curled in his arms as I drifted back to sleep.

 

  I dreamt in the fade again that night, I had been having fade dreams since I became pregnant. Ones that I could remember anyway. Two little Qunari twins, playing in a field of wildflowers without a single care in the world, their father chasing them. But Madison was there with me. Sitting next to me. As was Solas in his six-eyed wolf form I knew well from fan art.

 

  “They’re beautiful,” Madison said. If she was here in the fade, she would just think it a nice dream.

 

  “I miss you Madi. Tell my dad that I’m happy and that he’s going to be a grandfather.” She probably wouldn’t remember the words, but I had to say them. Solas watched as I hugged my very human friend, who was wearing the same strange clothing like I had when I first arrived.

 

  Madison disappeared. A spirit of compassion came to my side, I was glad it wasn’t Cole for once. Solas sat in his place, almost a forlorn look in his eyes as he watched my dream.

 

  “This is what I see for my children Solas. No Corypheus, no worries. Just a beautiful life for myself and Bull.” My dream faded as I woke that morning.

Chapter Text

 Madison Favreau's POV

 

 “What the hell?” I just had the weirdest dream. Shadow was alive. She had children with horns? There was a dog that looked a lot like Fen’Harel fan art. I pick up my phone and call my twin brother.

 

  “Madi? Do you know what time it is?” Mason was always a little sore when I called him about my dreams of Shadow.

 

  “Mace, I think she’s alive.” I said, my breathing almost erratic.

 

  “Not this again Madison. Shadow has been missing for a year.” He said groggily, I could hear him fumbling for his glasses.

 

  “I swear it Mason, she… spoke to me. She said she’s happy and she’s going to be a mother.” I switched on the light in my room.

 

  “Well, then where is she? Why hasn’t she come home?” He asked.

 

  “Mason, do you think the fade, Thedas, all of it could be real? That the video game we know could be based on actual events?” I could hear him roll his eyes.

 

  “Madison, do you realize how crazy you sound right now? And even if it were real it would be a completely different world. Getting there would be impossible.” Mason was right.  I had been studying my video game for six months, ever since I had my first dream that Shadow was in Thedas.

 

  “You’re right. Sorry that I woke you up.” I hit the end button on my phone and tossed it on my bed. Why did I keep having dreams about her? Last time she was pregnant, that was two days ago.

 

  Now it was like invading her dreams, The Iron Bull and she had children. Beautiful half elf and half Qunari children. Shadow would go for him, her number one go-to romance option in the game. I flipped open my phone and read for a while. Eventually, I fell back to sleep and had a dream about root beer floats.

 

  “Morning Madison, did you get the notes from Professor Giles?” My lab partner Henry asked as I came into class, finishing the last of a monster.

 

  “Yes, the ones for the midterm. I will be happy when I’m in my residency next year and college is behind me.” Why med school was so long was beyond me.

 

  “Where have you applied for your residency? I applied at Missouri Baptist off of 270 and Progress West in O’Fallon.” He asked.

 

  “I applied at St. John’s Mercy in Creve Coeur and MOBap as well. Both are pretty close to my apartment.” I said. Mason thought I was crazy, midterms were coming up and my head was in Thedas. “Do you and Alex want to go out for drinks tonight?” I asked, Henry’s boyfriend usually cool to come hangout and help me get silly-drunk when I needed to get out of my head.

 

  “Sure Mads, Crack Fox at 8?” Henry knew me so well. I nodded and we got to our lecture. My mind wandering to Shadow every few minutes. I didn’t catch anything that Professor Giles said. Thankfully my lab partner takes great notes.

Chapter Text

RIFTS WILL BE RETURNING! I plan to rewrite Shadow Bastien's story {in third person} After I get ahead on a couple of my other works now that I have a Beta and Editor! Thanks for your patience!

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Chapter Text

If you click my works, there is a rewrite waiting!

 

~Nia~