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Luxury of Sleep

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Solona is awake, again. Ever since she became a Warden, years ago, sleep has become a rare luxury. Whenever she isn’t plagued by nightmares brought on by Darkspawn, she’s beyond anxious with some political matter and now the events of Amaranthine weigh heavy on her mind and her heart.

She squeezes her eyes shut as she remembers her time there. She was still a little angry at Alistair, she still blamed him. She had no business being appointed as Arlessa, but then Alistair had said he had no business being King and she’d pushed him into it. She half suspected he’d assigned her to Vigil’s Keep as some sort of petty revenge.

Maybe she was just grasping at straws for someone else to blame. It would be easier if she were able to lay her actions and their consequences at the foot of someone else’s door, but no, it had been all her.

Leliana hears the deep sigh next to her. She’s always awoke easily, always alert and always ready to spring into action. Well, not so much those days, but the light sleeping still persisted. She shuffles closer into Solona’s back, finding the Warden’s hand and placing her palm over it, threading their fingers together. She hums against her skin and she feels Solona turn her head a little.

“Sorry.” Solona mumbles. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

The bard shakes her head against the mage’s skin. “I told you to wake me if you couldn’t sleep.”

“I know, but you look so peaceful when you’re sleeping I can’t bring myself to.”

Leliana props herself up onto her elbow and presses her lips to Solona’s shoulder, to her neck. “Turn around.” She says and ever compliant to her demands, the Warden does shift to face her. Leliana takes one look at her face in the blue, early morning light and gives her a sympathetic look. She’s frowning, almost pouting and the dark circles around her eyes tell the story of days upon days without adequate sleep. Leliana slips one arm under Solona’s head, and the other around and pulls her into her chest tightly. Her poor Warden.

“Go back to sleep, love.” She whispers, pressing a kiss atop of her dark hair. “Stop thinking.”

“If only it were that easy.” Is the murmured reply.

“I know.”

Sometimes Leliana is able to ease the Warden’s burdens, sometimes all she needs to do is hold her like this and whisper things into her ear, encouragements, compliments, silly stories or jokes, whatever it takes to distract her. Sometimes she can coax her into lovemaking, it’s usually the easiest way and for a brief window Solona forgets her worries, forgets everything but Leliana and afterwards when her mind is hazy and her body is is relaxed she falls asleep again for a while, in the bard’s arms, her breathing steady and even and her expression relaxed.

Sometimes there’s nothing Leliana can do and then she is worrying as well, worrying that Solona is retreating into a dark place, worried about what the Warden will do next.

Solona outstretches her arms with a satisfied groan, feeling her muscles begin to wake up from their own slumber. Halfway through her glorious morning stretch Leliana pulls her in tighter, shaking her head furiously.

“No.” She says. “You are not getting up yet.”

The tone of Leliana’s voice makes the Warden laugh. “But I’m not going back to sleep.”

Leliana pulls away enough so that she can look at Solona’s face and she gives her a small, still-sleepy smirk before leaning in close, barely pressing their lips together. “But you don’t have to go back to sleep. Yet.”

“No?” Solona asks breathlessly. “What would I do, then?”

“You don’t have to do anything.

“I’m not very good at that.” Solona replies, and it’s true, she’s not, she’s always getting herself involved in things that aren’t necessarily her business or just… taking over. She brings her hand up to rest on Leliana’s cheek and makes a move to press her lips against hers, but Leliana ghosts away at the last second, before she can make contact, with a tut, earning a frustrated half-growl from the mage. The bard chuckles softly, turning her head to kiss the palm on her face.

“Yes, I have noticed. Patience.” She says, lacing her fingers together and moving Solona’s hand to her hip. She then pulls her own hand free, running it along the Warden’s waist, under the rough-spun hempen tunic before sliding over the curve of her hip and onto her backside. That’s all she’s wearing, having pulled it over her head last night after they had made love then. It was like that, sometimes. They would spend days or weeks on end apart and then when they reunited they could barely keep their hands and mouths off each other long enough to have a conversation or a meal or do anything, really. Not that Leliana was complaining.

This time, however, had been a little bit different. Last night had been the first time they’d been intimate since Solona had come to Valence a couple of weeks prior. Leliana wasn’t entirely sure of the events that occurred in Amaranthine and Solona had been reluctant thus far to talk about them, but she was content just to support her until the Warden was ready to talk about it, even though she’d heard the rumours. She’d heard that things had gone from bad to worse, and it was enough to make Solona want to leave Ferelden for a while and take a break from the Order.

Solona sighs, resigning herself to play along with Leliana’s game. It wasn’t that she didn’t mind it, it just drove her crazy, but she knew that was the intention. She could see it in Leliana’s smug smile and the mischievous twinkle in her eyes and playful lilt to her voice.

The bard props herself up on her elbow, leaning over to press a single kiss just below Solona’s earlobe. “Can you be patient for me?” She murmurs into her ear, making sure to keep her voice low and breathy. She can feel Solona shift beneath her and hears her sharp in-take of breath.


“Oh. Wrong answer.” Leliana responds almost triumphantly, pulling away and holding her hand up.

“Yes,” Solona corrects, grabbing Leliana’s hand and pulling her back. “Yes.” She repeats. “Yes, Leliana.”

Leliana tilts her head and purses her lips, as if considering her options before she hooks one leg over Solona’s and pushes her down onto her back, straddling her waist at the same time.

Instantly Solona’s hands are on her thighs, rubbing up underneath her nightgown to her hips and down again. She’s looking forward but her eyes are glazed over and for a second Leliana worries that Solona is retreating back into her mind again. She cups the Warden’s chin, pulling their eyes together and Solona gives her an almost sheepish, weak smile.

“I was just thinking about how much I love you, is all.” She admits with a small shrug.

Oh, love.” Leliana can’t help but say, her expression softening instantly and a sympathetic sound escaping her throat. Despite being together over a year now, sometimes the woman before her still surprised her.

And it’s moments like those, moments amidst the overwhelming passion, moments where she can see the honesty and sincerity and vulnerability in her Warden’s eyes that make her fall deeper in love with her, as if that were even possible. She’s never had this before, not like this, neither of them have, but nothing has ever felt so right and when Solona looks at her like she’s the only person in the world that matters she truly believes it, she believes her and she believes their love and sometimes she feels so exposed, but so thankful and so safe that she could almost weep.

She leans down, the teasing game all but forgotten for a moment as she loses herself in the look in those dark brown eyes she’s come to know so well. They kiss gently; sometimes their kisses are so soft, so timid that it’s excruciating but she knows something has stirred in Solona when she feels her hand thread through her hair and the kiss becomes deeper, more about desire and want than anything else. Solona sits upright suddenly, hands wrapping around Leliana’s back to keep her steady as she does so. They break apart for a moment, both a little breathless and the mage can’t help but kiss Leliana again and again. The next time they pull away they’re both desperate for breath and she surges forward, shifting around to lay the bard on her back and smothering her neck and jaw with wet kisses.

Leliana whimpers lightly, her eyes fluttering shut, almost forgetting that she was supposed to be leading this, not Solona. “Solona.” She gasps, bringing one hand to the side of the Warden’s face, the other grabbing loosely at her arm.

“Shh.” Solona says, knowing that Leliana is about to protest. She found that sometimes she couldn’t help herself, Leliana would usually be the one to initiate intimacy but Solona was the one that responded to it quicker and with a wanton eagerness that made her unable to do anything but take over. She sucks lightly at the bard’s skin, feeling a hand tangle in her hair and pull lightly, it’s not hard enough to leave a mark, but it’s enough to make Leliana arch a little into her, seeking more contact and more pressure.

“I said you…” Leliana interrupts herself with a sharp gasp as Solona moves to another spot on her skin and repeats the action. “Didn’t have to do anything.” She feels the mage smile against her neck, and press a gentle kiss to the tender skin.

“I want to.” She responds, dragging her fingernails down across Leliana’s stomach, which quivers lightly in response, the bard is a little ticklish and she feels her squirm a little underneath her touch. She stills her hand just before she reaches the apex between the Leliana’s thighs and traces a fingertip back and forth between her hip bones. “Unless you want me to stop?” She asks, mouth hovering over Leliana’s ear.

“No.” Leliana replies, pulling Solona’s mouth to hers. She whimpers again into the Warden’s mouth as their tongues brush against each other. Solona’s hand is sliding back up, bunching Leliana’s nightgown along with it. They break apart long enough for the Warden to pull it over her head and toss it to the side before doing the same with her own, and their lips crash together again as if their lives depended on it.

Leliana quickly feels herself losing concentration, her mind becoming hazy and she’s unable to focus on anything but Solona’s hands which feel like they are everywhere all at once. But it’s still not enough. She wants more, but Solona is taking her time, kissing and licking and nipping at all the skin available to her. She’s trying to be patient, and she’s vaguely aware of the irony of the situation after she was teasing the Warden only minutes ago. The mage has one hand in her hair and she tugs lightly, forcing Leliana’s head to one side so she can drag her tongue up from the base of her neck to her jaw and then the hand leaves her hair, trailing down over her collar bones and between her breasts before barely grazing across one. The hand she has resting on Solona’s arm grips tighter in anticipation and at the delicate touch. The Warden moves her head down, kissing where her finger had traced only moments ago before coming to a stop, she looks up and Leliana blinks her eyes open at the loss of sensations.

Solona smirks. “Patience.” She says.

Leliana throws her head back on the pillow with a growl and Solona takes the opportunity to place her mouth around her nipple and flick her tongue across it. Leliana’s growl ends with a gasp and she arches again. By the time Solona’s mouth leaves her chest there’s a dull throb between her legs and she’s flushed, she can feel the heat from her cheeks without touching them. The Warden shifts, settling one thigh between Leliana’s legs, who responds by wrapping her own around the mage, pulling her down and pushing herself into the her thigh at the same time. The contact makes her moan softly, and Solona kisses her again, pushing upwards at the same time. It’s almost torture. It’s something but it’s still not enough and the bard is quickly becoming flustered.

But Solona knows, she can see it in the way Leliana’s brow is knitting in frustration, the way her hand on her arm grips tightly, nails dragging down every so often. Leliana rocks against her again and afterwards Solona places her hand between them, resting atop of Leliana’s thatch of curls. She feels Leliana’s body tense, the anticipation of Solona’s touch stopping her breath momentarily, but it doesn’t come, not yet and blue eyes fly open to seek out brown, narrowing accusingly.

“Sol… ona- Oh, oh, yes.” Before Leliana could finish chastising her Solona dipped her fingers between her, seeking out with practised familiarity the place she knew would initiate such a response. Solona’s not sure if there’s anything better in the world than hearing Leliana gasp out her name like that, it goes a long way in causing her own ache between her thighs becoming almost unbearable, but she’ll wait, she’ll wait because she utterly adores seeing the woman beneath her like this. She presses firmly, drawing tight circles as Leliana gives high moans and gasps that increase in volume easily and quickly. She’s always been fairly loud, something that Solona found out early in the cosy settings of a camp with others, much to everyone’s embarrassment the next day.

But it doesn’t matter here. It’s just them, the two of them, with no neighbours around for leagues. They’re in Leliana’s home by the Waking Sea, a left over from her time when Lady Cecile was her guardian, one of the only things she’s has left of that life.

The Warden moves two fingers downwards after a while, stopping momentarily and burying her head in the crook of Leliana’s neck. Leliana gives a content moan, turning her head to kiss Solona’s cheek. She’s asking permission, asking if she wants this.

“Yes.” Leliana whispers into her ear.

Solona lifts her head to press a light kiss to Leliana’s swollen lips. “Okay.”

Their eyes are locked when Solona pushes into Leliana, but the sensation renders the bard unable to keep them open. They fall shut, her head falling back at the same time, her chest arching and hips rolling. The moan that escapes her lips is high and breathless and Solona feels herself clench at the sight and sound, almost at the same time she feels Leliana’s muscles flutter around her fingers. She’s already so wet, already so eager and Solona feels a mixture of pride and guilt at the silk that coats her hand. Her thumb replaces where her fingers were moments ago, drawing less precise but still firm enough circles to cause Leliana’s hips to buck into her momentarily.

In their year and a bit spent together Solona had learned a lot of things about Leliana, about the way the bard behaved in bed and the things she liked more than anything else. Above it all, she always said, her favourite thing was feeling the Warden above her and having her close, having her lips close enough to kiss and her hands close enough to hold should she feel the need. In a way it was terribly romantic and Solona was more than happy to oblige.

The Warden shifts herself into a more comfortable position, trying not put too much of her weight on the woman beneath her. She kisses hastily at her neck, her hand still working between them, she curls her fingers upwards on the backstroke and they fall into a rhythm quickly, their movements punctuated by Leliana’s breathless moans. She’s moaning in beats, one hand is clutching the sheets and the other tangles into Solona’s dark hair, alternating between tugging gently and falling loose when she’s unable to concentrate.

Leliana doesn’t know why, but when she feels herself approaching her climax she always wants to say something, she never knows what, and nothing intelligible ever comes out, but Solona knows the signs by now and she can feel Leliana clenching around her fingers infrequently.

“Solona.” She manages to gasp out. She repeats herself afterwards, interrupting her own words with more moans. Solona hums into her ear. The air is becoming warm between them, the late summer heat and physical activity causing them both to sweat a little. There’s a string of short-winded Orlesian that follows, Solona doesn’t quite catch it all, she knows a little from spending time with Leliana in Orlais and indeed, in bed but it’s thick and it’s barely comprehensible.

So instead, she kisses Leliana’s jaw lightly and mumbles. “I know.”

Whatever Leliana said was the prelude to her taking a sharp intake of breath and falling silent for a brief second, before her body shudders forward and her head falls back into the pillows, mouth falling open and eyes screwing further shut. The hand in Solona’s hair grips painfully as Leliana comes undone beneath her, she’s pulsing around the mage’s fingers and her moans are loud and low in her throat. She’s unable to control her hips from bucking into Solona’s hand for a moment, but the Warden keeps her still enough, not stopping until she knows Leliana has rode it through.

The bard gives makes a satisfied noise sometime afterwards when the fog in her mind clears. Her head falls to the side to kiss at Solona’s cheek and the Warden props herself up again, pressing their lips together. It’s slow again, gentle and languid, Leliana is still a little hazy and she whimpers lightly when Solona removes her hand, dragging it across the sheets before cupping the bard’s cheek. They break apart and just rest their foreheads together, both of them still with their eyes closed, just listening to their quickened heartbeats and shallow breaths in the early morning silence.

“You distracted me.” Leliana says softly after a while, her voice a little hoarse.

Solona laughs and pecks the bard before settling down beside her on her back, clasping her hands together behind her head. Leliana rolls onto her side, draping an arm and leg across the Warden and nuzzling into her a little.

“A moment, please.” She murmurs.

Solona laughs again. “It’s alright.” She says, turning her head to place a kiss atop of Leliana’s hair.

“Mm.” The bard responds, shaking her head a little. She takes in a deep breath, blinking her eyes open, slowly coming to properly. She kisses Solona’s cheek. “Hello.” She says with a small smile. “I do love you, you know?”

The Warden nods, knowing that Leliana often got sentimental post-orgasm. “I know.”

Leliana licks her bottom lip and bites it gently, watching her own hand as she trails a finger tip down between Solona’s breasts, across her stomach and down between her legs. Without even dipping into her she can feel the heat and her fingers come away a little wet. She props herself up on her elbow, arching an eyebrow at Solona who just shrugs.

“Your fault.” Solona says.

The bard shifts, swinging her leg over Solona’s hips and straddling her again. She pulls the Warden’s hands from behind her head and entwines their fingers, moving them above Solona and leaning down at the same time press their lips together. Leliana grazes her teeth across the mage’s bottom lip and her hips rock forward as she whimpers. The mage was always quick to fall apart but after watching Leliana moments ago she’s already wound up tight. Leliana nudges Solona’s head to the side with her own, pressing wet, rough kisses to her neck. She bites down lightly, and Solona hisses through her teeth, her hands jerking but Leliana holds her still and laughs against her skin, before kissing where she’d bitten.

She releases the mage’s hands finally, dragging them down her arms, she shuffles down a little at the same time, positioning herself to kneel between Solona’s legs. She kisses a trail down her neck and over to her collarbone where she sucks firmly, enough to draw a little blood and Solona’s hand threads through her hair, a soft gasp escaping her lips. She always feels a little guilty for leaving a mark, but Solona has said she likes it, she likes having that reminder of Leliana, especially when they have to spend some time apart. Afterwards she kisses lower, down to Solona’s breast before she closes her mouth around it, her tongue flicking back and forth.

“Leliana.” Solona says, pulling her chin up after a moment.

Leliana looks up, a little confused.

“Just…” Solona drops her head back again when Leliana rolls the nipple between her teeth. “Don’t tease me.”

“No?” Leliana asks, kissing her breast.

“No.” Solona responds with a short, dry laugh afterwards, suddenly aware of how eager she sounds.

“As you like.” The bard responds, running her hands down the Warden’s side, she stops when she reaches her hip bones and shuffles further down again, unable to help herself kissing at the tan skin of Solona’s hips. She wraps one arm under Solona’s thigh and bends her leg a little, kissing at her inner thigh. She knows what she’s doing might constitute as teasing, but she really can’t help it, she can feel the tense anticipation in the other woman as she reaches between her legs. She presses a gentle kiss atop of Solona’s dark curls before dipping her tongue inwards and upwards, slowly and lightly. At the first touch the Warden takes in a breath, and then when Leliana circles her tongue around her she moans, arching a little forward.

Solona isn’t sure if it’s because Leliana is practically an artist with her hands and her tongue, or just because she is fairly easy to please, or if it’s a combination of the two but it isn’t long before she can’t focus on anything else. “Leliana.” She whimpers, gasping the bard’s name. She runs a hand across her face in attempt to regain some composure, the other hand is holding Leliana’s red hair to one side.

Solona doesn’t need to continue, Leliana instinctively knows what she wants. The bard has significantly more experience than the mage and has always been a little less wary and a little less timid when it came to intimacy, but she trusts Solona to communicate with her and Solona seems content enough to allow Leliana to do almost whatever her whims desire. Sometimes she asks for specifics, but generally the Warden is happy to be fairly submissive, which Leliana found to be both incredibly adorable and erotic at the same time. She was so different here, just the two of them, compared to what she was like when she was Commanding or in battle.

Leliana brings her hand from around Solona’s thigh and pushes two fingers into her. The Warden bucks forward at the contact and Leliana brings her other hand to rest across her hips, holding her still before continuing. Solona’s moans are quieter than Leliana’s, lower in her throat, she’s more breathy where Leliana is higher and freer with her noises.

“Fuck. Fuck, Leliana.” Solona mutters in response. She feels almost overwhelmed, she’s flushed and a little embarrassed that she’s already so close so quickly but that was the effect that the bard had on her, the effect that she’d always had from the very beginning. Leliana increases her pace a little, before she feels the hand on her head tugging gently.

“Kiss me.” Solona breathes and Leliana is more than happy to accommodate the demand. Without stopping the hand between her legs she moves up the mage’s body, and she uses her thumb to replace where her tongue was moments ago before capturing Solona’s lips and silencing her moans. She hears Solona whimper into her, she can taste herself on Leliana and she cups her cheek, holding her close. She can barely concentrate on kissing her, her mouth falling open and breathless gasps escaping her as Leliana rests against her forehead. The bard kisses across her cheek instead, to her jaw and to her neck. She murmurs soft encouragements into Solona’s ear but she’s not sure if the Warden even hears her amidst her own moans and pleasure.

Solona’s breath catches in her throat a moment, before she clenches involuntarily around Leliana’s fingers. Her head falls to the side and she pulls Leliana’s mouth to hers, kissing her deeply as she climaxes. Her other hand falls to the bed with a light thud, tangling into the sheets and gripping forcefully afterwards, her knuckles turning white from the effort. She twitches a little into the bard, but Leliana doesn’t break the kiss, as much as Solona is unable to kiss her back properly. The Warden moans into Leliana’s mouth, her brow knitting together as she eventually stills. She’s panting, her chest is heaving with the effort of trying to catch her breath. Leliana presses a chaste kiss to her lips, and again, and again, pulling her hand free from the Warden gently. Solona hasn’t opened her eyes yet, her mouth is open a little and she’s trying to slow her breathing, her heart is thumping in her chest and she can feel the blood in her ears and she can barely think straight.

The bard settles back a little, more onto her side and brings her hand up to taste Solona on her fingers. She wasn’t quite sure why she liked it so much, but she could hardly get enough of Solona, enough of her shy moans, enough of her gentle kisses and enough of her taste. The Warden opens her eyes after a while and lets out a soft laugh when she sees what Leliana is doing. Leliana just gives her a coy smile and shrug, before shifting onto her back. The mage wraps an arm around her almost instantly and Leliana moves an arm under Solona’s neck and begins to draw lazy, light circles in between her shoulder blades.

“I think,” Solona mumbles, her voice thick. “I might go back to sleep for a little bit.”

The sound of the sleepiness in her Warden’s voice makes Leliana giggle and she turns her head to press a kiss atop of Solona’s hair before shifting to her side again, pulling Solona in a little and closing her own eyes too, satisfied that she’d at least distracted and exhausted Solona long enough to placate her into sleeping a little longer. They still had plenty of morning left, after all.