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He wouldn’t ever get peace from the dreams, would he?

It took only a single moment to realize it was all a dream and he wasn’t back there again, but that moment often felt an eternity. Then once the realization came, that he wasn’t back there and it was only a dream, panic had to quell, his beating heart had to ease. He would then have to wipe the sweat from his brow, and then reach for his coin. A ritual of a thousand nights. Unavoidable and sporadic, but never something he could completely rid himself of. That night was no different, save when he tried to reach for his coin, he remembered it wasn’t there. He gave it to Victoria. She had it with her, the same way she had his heart.

He sighed when his feet hit the cold ground. He stretched and remembered she wasn’t home at Skyhold. Whenever she was gone it was difficult when he woke up. In the middle of the night he had nothing but his thoughts and his worries. Her being home alleviated them, her being away somewhere far off on a mission exacerbated them. He could hear her then without her even having to be there, Cullen, try to go back to sleep. Don’t you dare think about getting work done.

Perhaps if she was home he would have convinced himself to stay in bed, somehow lull himself back to sleep. But he didn’t want to go back there, and he didn’t want to think of her gone, even if she now had his coin, and childlike he thought that would keep her from harm. He had to stay awake, there was much work to be done anyway. He stuffed on his boots and threw on a discarded white tunic, and he lit a candle at his desk downstairs. Realizing he left a few papers in the war room, he took the candle and began the walk.

He hardly needed the candle, the moon and stars through the window illuminated the map. Strange, celestial beauty it had, and Cullen sighed as he stretched out. The Inquisitor needed troops in the Arbor Wilds. Funny how she was the Inquisitor in the War Room, Victoria anywhere else, and Tori when they were together, kissing and in each other’s arms.

Maker, it was more than missing her. It was craving, pining, hungering like he never hungered before. Why didn’t he tell her he loved her? Anything could have happened while she was gone. She had his coin, yes, but….


The moon through the windows made her a near ghostly apparition at first, but it was her. It was her.

He rushed to her side and threw his arms around her, she doing the same. “Tori,” he muttered, his joy turning her into Tori instead of the Inquisitor or Victoria, “you’re here. You’re back. When did…?”

“We rode in early,” she said, standing on the tips of her toes to meet his embrace. “Oh Cullen. I’ve missed you. Why aren’t you in bed? One of the servants said they saw you come to the war room. Did you have trouble sleeping? Cullen…”

“It doesn’t matter. You’re here.”

In a long moment he held her tightly and fiercely. In a second long moment, he kissed her gently. He had the thought that he should take her elsewhere but that thought was fleeting before he became lost in the kiss again. Maker, he had her again.

“It’s becoming harder,” he admitted, squeezing tightly. “Tori—”

“You can’t worry about me Cullen.”

He sighed. She held his face in her hands. He kissed her palm. “I can worry about you a little,” he said.

“But now I have luck. And…”

She took his hand and guided him to the war table, closer to the stars that spilled from the window panes and closer to the light of the burning candle he brought. She took off her travel cloak, set on the table, her hands slowly traveling to the top button of her shirt after. She undid the button. Silver glittered at the base of her throat.

He instinctively touched it, his coin that he gave her for luck, and maybe too, to think of him when they were far. “I don’t know what to say,” he said, “I—”

“You don’t like it. Oh. I just—I didn’t want to lose it, and—”

“I love it.”

“Oh Cullen.”

Her lips tasted of thanks, underlined with a desperation. She moaned as he kissed lightly her neck and her jaw, and before he could think of it he was propping her on top of the war table. She laced her arms around his neck, his arms coiled around her waist, and it was Cullen, whispering through the deluge of kisses that he needed her.

Her thighs parted, legs wrapping around him. She said nothing, only let an eternity pass between their eyes. Decorum got the better of him. He apologized—it wasn’t proper to do what he had just suggested—on the war table no less where they had meetings with Josephine and Leliana and they talked and made plans with their Inquisitor. How would he ever look at the war table again without becoming hopelessly aroused? Or Maker forbid—embarrassed. It had been a long time for him, he worried it would be too fast, not good, and she wouldn’t enjoy herself, and—

“I want you.”

She whispered those three words in his ear, I want you. She deserved a proper session of love making, long moments of himself mapping her body with his lips and tongue. But his hands were so rough, her body soft and undeserving of that. He hesitated.

She pulled him in. Her lips captured his bottom lip. She breathed into his kiss, hummed softly at his taste.

“I don’t want proper,” she said. “I want it right now.”

“You’ll have me?”

She pressed their foreheads together. “Yes Cullen,” she muttered. “All of you. Here.”

He blew out the candle and set it aside, wanting moonlight to be the only thing that bathed their bodies. She tugged at his shirt and he tossed it to the ground. He was littered with scars and burns. The light was low but she could still probably see most of them. He had a shiver of uncertainty, a no, until her hands slid down his chest. He was going to fall, but she was grounding him.

There was a moment before. He held her face in his hands, regarded every small part of her face. Her dark and short dark hair that framed a heart shaped face. Full lips he spent so long kissing. He longed for a thousand years of that. The small and subtle tattoo under her eye. Her unique eyes tinged with purple.

Her shirt fell the floor alongside his. She wasted no time taking off her breast-band either, and in a stroke of boldness he kneeled to the ground, took off her boots, and helped her slide out of her breeches and small clothes. He wanted to see her bare in the moonlight. Maker he can come at the sight. She was a goddess of the moon and stars, dusted with the powder of the light through the window pane. His hands don’t suit her. But—

But she took them in hers, silently entreated them to skim up her thighs, part them. He knew some things, but it wasn’t as though he was completely experienced, but either way she was the first woman that he thought he loved. He gave her his coin. He had never wanted to give another his coin.

“I want…”

She gripped his hair and twisted it in her fingers as his prickly and unshaven face left kisses on her thighs.

“My mouth?” he rasped.

She nodded eagerly, gasping when he gave her not his mouth, but his gentle finger at first, tentatively touching, seeing her reactions. She spread her legs further and it compelled him to give her what she so desired. His adoring tongue lapped at her clit, tasted her taste of salt and musk, reached around and grasped her hips as she inched closer to his mouth. He felt her orgasm around him. He touched his clothed cock, stroked himself at such a sight. That could have been it for him and he would have bee satisfied. Not for her.

She pulled him upward by the shoulders and stroked him through his breeches. At her mercy he moaned and panted, wrapping his arms around her and breathing hard into the crook of her neck. Her hands eventually wrapped around his back, sunk underneath his breeches. He helped her take it off. She moved to the war table and he had to chuckle. She chuckled too. That would be its legacy and everlasting memory in his mind. Not the hours of strategy they discussed or something or other, but the Commander making love to his Inquisitor. Cullen and Victoria, bare for each other. In love.

He thought. He hoped. He poured that hope in the way he mapped her body with his tongue, resting underneath the map of Ferelden and Orlais. So long he had studied those maps only for his favorite map to become her body—strong and muscular and kissed by the sun, yet with a feminine softness. His coin still rested at the base of her throat. He tried not to cry. And then she wanted to touch him, map his body with her tongue and they switched places. The table was hard underneath his back, but her lips were soft. She loved him and revered him. He was at the mercy of a goddess.

When he thought he could take it no longer and she straddled his hips, he thought maybe they shouldn’t in a moment of clarity he almost hated himself for having. “It’s alright,” she said when she noticed his concern. “I’ve taken the witherstalk potion.”

“Are you sure?”

He felt a scared little boy. It was a lifetime of ingrained inferiority speaking, thinking he wasn’t good enough. But Victoria. Beautiful, beautiful she…she leaned down and she kissed him.

“More than sure,” she said. “Cullen. I—”

She sank on top of his cock and he rose to meet her. It was more than he imagined, because his imagination couldn’t ever dream of such sweet bliss as her heat around his cock, the steady rhythm of her moving up and down. It had been so long, he knew it was going to be embarrassingly short. He warned her even and told him it was alright. It was the first time, they could practice. He nearly cried when she affirmed they would do it again.

He made her cum with his fingers and she cried out into a warm and heady kiss. He came a beat after, sweaty and in her arms, his goddess.

“I can’t say I regret you came here anymore,” she said, chuckling. “That…wow…”

“I love you.”

She blinked and he fell. It was the end. She didn’t love him back. She—

“I love you too.”

He kissed her and it was a kiss of relief. They removed themselves from the table and map after, and he prayed their secret wouldn’t be found out. It was futile though—he knew how things worked at Skyhold. Besides, he had to walk out with her hand in hand, grin on his face, back to his room where she spent the night with him.

In her arms, he fell asleep. And then in the morning, they made love again and mapped each others bodies again. The bed was much softer on his back, but her lips were far softer.

“I love you,” he said.

She said it back and he soared.