A/N: A few things. One, this Trevelyan belongs to dragonofthedark. Two, I headcanon that mages have a similar metabolism to biotics from Mass Effect, in that they burn off things like alcohol and calories really quickly. But mages still get the lovely hangover that dehydration brings, unlike biotics. Three, Sera is a dork. Four, this is a prompt from dragonofthedark, for winning the 100 follower giveaway I did on tumblr.
Prompt: Do Alanna propositioning Cullen while drunk, before the desk scene.
I took it slightly further. *shrug*
Alanna Trevelyan was, admittedly, a terrible lightweight.
So when Bull had invited her to drink to the high dragon they'd slain together, she'd fully expected to drink very lightly. She knew her limits.
But peer pressure is a bitch. And Bull was the worst enabler in history.
Maraas-lok, he'd called the foul liquid in her tankard, 'dragon's piss'. It certainly tasted like something a large beast had pissed out, though she prayed to the Maker that it wasn't actual urine she had been drinking. In vast quantities. Far too quickly.
Stumbling from the tavern, she hiccuped, the involuntary motion driving her soundly to her ass. She giggled, laughing at her drunken blunder, looking up as the starry sky swirled above her in a dizzying display of light. She groaned and forced her gaze down toward the horizon for a more steady, less nausea-inducing view.
"Mmmuch... better," she blurted, her eyes settling on Commander Cullen's tower with a leering grin. It was then that her deliriously drunken mind came up with the most delicious plan. She hiccuped around another giggle as the idea formed in her head.
Now, if only she could get her feet under her, she might be able to actually execute said plan. That proved a bit more difficult than she'd imagined. Her feet were usually so steady! Frustration crumpled her features as she attempted to stand and ended up exactly where she'd been, flat on her ass, once again.
She huffed, which ended in a very un-lady-like flapping of her lips as the air escaped her. She snorted at the sound. At least her humor was intact, even if her sense of balance was obliterated.
She tried again, this time managing to get her feet on the ground and the rest of her vertical, if only just. She had the presence of mind to pat the dust off her breeches, then set off toward the stairs to the battlements.
It was when she reached the bottom of the stairs that she recognized a flaw in her plan. Getting up those stairs was a chore even when sober, but drunk? She wasn't sure she could manage it. She wasn't so far gone that she thought she would stumble and crack her head open like an egg - a thought which sent her into a giggling fit for a few moments when the image of Solas' head flashed through her mind - but it would definitely be a test of her abilities.
No. She steeled her resolve and stood - relatively - straight as she regarded the obstacle before her. She would not let this silly staircase defeat her. She was the Herald of Andraste, the leader of the Inquisition, and that staircase was dead meat.
By the time she reached the top, she was ready to declare the Inquisition a success and tell everyone to go home. It had been an epic battle of high steps and her grasp slipping from the wall to nearly land her flat on her face. The curve halfway up had been a trial as well, one which took her several tries before she realized she was going back downstairs instead of the upward direction she'd intended. Now, her destination was in sight, but a few doors and thirty steps away. She could make it.
She reached the first door, slamming it open a bit more loudly than she'd intended. She grinned at the sight of the bed with the axe still lodged in its foot board. "Now that'ss a warrior bed," she said, giggling at the thought. She remembered when Sera had decided to move it, originally intending to throw it over the wall, but finding it too heavy to lift by herself. So she'd just taken it apart and moved it to the next tower as a prank. Nobody ever said Sera made any sense.
She stumbled onward to the second door, managing a bit more quiet in her opening of that one. Though she did hold onto it a bit too long, the forward momentum sending her legs sluggishly running to keep her upright. She bumped into the wall, using it to steady herself.
Twelve more steps and one door stood between her and her target. A pittance. She would conquer it as certainly as she'd conquered the stairs, which were a much larger enemy. Damn stairs.
She took the distance in one rush, miscalculating slightly and smacking against the wall beside the door, instead of the door itself. At least she'd managed to keep her face away from the rough stone.
Vaguely, she heard a shuffling from inside the tower, then the drawing of steel against a scabbard very close to the door. She turned herself to face the door as she heard the latch lift and click, light pouring out through the crack more and more as the door slowly opened.
Cullen swung the door open as he saw her, surprise lighting his face. His sword was drawn, which he quickly remedied after a swift visual scan of the walkway.
"Inquisitor! I- what are you doing here at this hour?"
"Coming to sssee you of course," she slurred, poking her finger at his chestplate.
His brows creased together, "Are you... drunk?"
She giggled, nodding a bit too enthusiastically.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, mumbling, "Maker's breath."
She reached up and pulled his hand down, leaning up and planting a kiss on his lips before he could react.
His hands curled around her shoulders and gently pushed her back, his face a mask of suspicion, "And what exactly did you think to accomplish by visiting me, drunk, at this hour?"
She shrugged against his hands, an impish grin on her lips, "Maybe get our handsome Commmmander to relax a bit?" she walked two fingers up his chestplate, biting her lip around a smile as she looked up at him.
He blushed, despite himself, a smile tugging at his lips which he refused to give in to. "Inquisitor-"
He blushed harder, "I- Alanna, I am going to ensure you actually make it to your quarters. Then, I'm going to return to mine, and forget this ever happened. Maker willing."
She pouted, looking at him with sad eyes. That had actually stung a bit.
He sighed, flustered, "Not that I... I... Look, let's just get you to bed. You need to sleep this off. You're not thinking clearly. In the morning, we can discuss this properly."
She liked the sound of that. And she was tired, now that she thought of it. She gave a slightly disappointed sigh and nodded.
"Glad you've come to your senses. Come with me, then," he offered her his elbow.
She chuckled, "Prolly need more than that, but I'll take it for now, Commander Cully-wully."
He blinked owlishly at her, swallowing visibly, "What did you just call me?"
She took his arm and used it as leverage to lean up, lowering her voice as she neared his ear, "Commander Cully-wully."
The careful control he'd maintained over his face cracked as he broke into laughter. When he regained his composure, mostly, he looked at her with amused eyes.
"That is your pet name for me? Maker help us all," he shook his head, still smiling.
"Hey!" she mock-punched his arm, "I could thinka worse!"
He chuckled, "I'm sure you could, Inquisitor Alanna-wana."
She snorted, "Really? 'Alanna-wana'?"
He grinned at her as they began to walk through his office, "Turnabout is fair play, is it not?"
She chuckled, "Well sure, but that's the worst you can think of to call me?"
"Why should it be the worst? You just said 'Commander Cully-wully' isn't the worst you could think of."
Her brow creased, "Well yeah, but I didn't call you that as an insult, it's..." she trailed off in a sigh. She was actually starting to sober up considerably now, and beginning to realize her folly. Her cheeks burned in embarrassment.
"It's what?" he asked.
They were halfway across the bridge way to the main tower when she stopped, releasing his elbow.
"I... I think I can make it the rest of the way myself, Commander."
He looked at her with a confused, concerned expression, "Are you certain? Is everything alright?"
She nodded, looking anywhere but him, "Yes, I'm certain. Thank you and goodnight."
She turned and fled on quick footsteps before he could say anything else. She barely heard him calling, "Goodnight," behind her as she entered the keep, closing the door quickly behind her and collapsing on it. She slid down until she was sitting, her elbows propped on her knees and her face in her hands, covering her red cheeks.
'Commander Cully-wully? Really? And what were you thinking, going up there in the first place? Did you actually go up there to proposition the Commander of your troops while completely drunk off your ass?' she groaned. Sure, they had kissed - many times - already, but they hadn't actually progressed to the point of anything... beyond that, just yet.
It wasn't that she didn't want to, Maker she did, but it never seemed to be the right time. Either she was gone on a mission, or he was busy in a meeting, or some catastrophe would occur that would prevent them having time for anything more than a quick dalliance on the battlements, in full view of the patrolling soldiers.
It was frustrating. And distracting. More than once, she'd found herself paying more attention to the way the light shone on his hair at war room meetings, than to the things Leliana and Cassandra were saying to her. A person could only take so much before their attention wandered, and it was definitely wandering more lately.
And it wasn't just some cork she needed to pop, as Bull had once so eloquently phrased his description of it. She cared about him, a little too much, if her other advisors' annoyance at her lack of attention span were any indication. She sighed, threading her fingers through her hair and tugging it gently in frustration. There was no easy solution to this, and the way she'd just embarrassed herself would only make things worse.
She heard a chair scrape across the stone floor and she jerked her head up in time to see Solas standing and walking around his desk toward her with a concerned look on his face. Shit.
"Inquisitor, is everything alright? You seem... distressed," he said, as he neared her.
She shook her head, waving him off, "I'm fine, Solas. Thank you. Just wallowing in my stupidity. I'll get out of your... way," she'd caught herself just in time to avoid saying hair, which would have been awkward, as bald as he was. She wondered - not for the first time - if he actually was bald, or if he shaved it when she wasn't looking.
Pushing the thought away, she slowly stood, using the wall to support her rise to her feet. She gave him a grim smile as she nodded at him in passing, taking calculated strides to the other side of the rotunda. She wasn't so sober yet that her feet were completely steady, but she made it to the door without major incident.
Walking through the empty main hall was a comfort she didn't often have. Usually there was at least one - if not several - gaggles of nobles or merchants making a racket and stinking up the place with heavy Orlesian perfumes. Now, as she padded quietly down the hall on the thick rugs, she reveled in the peaceful silence.
She entered her quarters, heading up the steps with significantly less difficulty than she'd managed the stone stairs on the wall earlier. She started stripping as soon as she reached the top, tossing her clothes on the banister carelessly before collapsing on her bed. She thought about getting under the covers - the doors to the balconies were open and it would get chilly before morning - but she suddenly couldn't move. Exhaustion overtook her on swift wings, claiming her conscious mind and sending her to the Fade.
A pounding woke her, one that matched the throbbing pain in her head quite perfectly. She tried to open her eyes, only to find the searing embrace of the sun streaming through her still open balcony doors. She closed her eyes tightly against the assault, covering her head with a pillow. She heard the pounding again, though muffled through the feathers of her pillow this time. She ignored it. Maybe it would go away?
No such luck. She heard it again, more insistent this time, and flung the pillow off of her, shouting, "Go away!" at the door before replacing the pillow. She snuggled into the sheets she had at some point crawled under, hoping that whomever was knocking on her door would take heed of her instructions and leave.
When she heard the door latch clank and the creaking of the hinges as her door swung open, she groaned. Soft footsteps traveled up the stairs slowly, turning and nearing her bedside, followed by the sound of something - a tray? - being set on her bedside table. The steps retreated, and she heard the balcony doors close gently, one by one.
"I take it 'go away' means something different in your language," she said through her pillow.
"No, but when the person you're saying it to is bringing the solution to your problem, I think that person should ignore that order."
Wait. That voice. That was... Oh, sweet Maker!
She heard him chuckle as she slowly brought her head out from under the pillow, wincing at the light that still slipped through the windows. As her eyes adjusted, they caught sight of him, out of his armor for once, in simple leather trousers and a cream tunic shirt that hung from him in a rather complimentary fashion. He sat on the edge of her bed, facing her. He had a small smirk on his face, but his eyes were kind as he looked at her.
"Good morning, Alanna."
She whimpered, blushing as she realized what a mess she must look. Hungover, hair all over the place, sleep in the corners of her eyes and who knows if she happened to drool or not last night. Maker. She wanted to sink back under the pillows and just... die.
He seemed to sense her distress somewhat, leaning forward and placing his warm hand on her cheek, gently.
"Come on, I brought you some things that should help with the hangover I'm sure you have," the hand that had been on her cheek moved to gesture to the table.
She looked up toward the table, seeing what was indeed a tray, containing several cups and what looked to be a covered plate of some sort of food.
She blinked hazily and looked back down at him, giving a weak smile.
"No food. Not yet."
He nodded and she started the struggle to sit up, then realized she had left every single article of clothing she had been wearing on the banister the previous night. Right. Shit. Her gaze drifted over to said clothes and she blushed at the confirmation that she was indeed stark naked beneath her bed's covers, with only that between her and the object of her heart's desire. She swallowed nervously around the dry lump in her throat.
She pulled the covers tightly over her breasts and under her arms, sitting up finally. She was sure her blush was reaching the part of her chest that was bare above the covers, but she kept her chin up despite it. Let him see her blushing. If he didn't like it, or her mussed morning after look, he shouldn't be here in the first place.
He didn't even seem to notice. He smiled and reached over to the tray to grab something, then handed it to her.
"Solas was rather insistent that you would need that first. Apparently he got wind of your condition last night. He was on his way up here and intercepted me, told me to give it to you."
She looked at the corked potion bottle skeptically as she took it from him. It was pitch black, not exactly the most promising color. But she knew Solas wouldn't poison her, however mysterious his words occasionally were, and they were on good terms. She shrugged and uncorked the bottle, tipping the contents down the back of her throat to try to miss her tongue, in case it tasted as bad as it looked.
She wasn't disappointed. She had no idea what was in that bottle, but it tasted like death itself.
Cullen must have read the disgust on her face clearly enough, as he quickly handed her a glass of water, "Here, I can't imagine that tasted good."
She grabbed the water and gulped it down quickly. "Thank you. Maker that was awful. I don't know what was in there but... huh," she looked up at him in wonder, "You know, I actually am starting to feel better. I won't say it's a complete recovery, but the dwarf hammering my skull like an anvil she hates has taken a break finally."
He chuckled, taking the water glass from her and handing her another, "Well that's good then. Perhaps I should have him mix up some larger batches of... whatever that was for Bull and Dorian. You wouldn't believe how often I have to listen to their complaints in the mornings after a night at the tavern."
She lowered the glass when the water in it was half gone, "They complain to you about it? Why you?"
He shook his head and pointed at the glass, urging her to finish it, "I honestly don't know. Likely because I'm there. Just a matter of convenience. I take my breakfast in the tavern, it's closer to my office."
She handed him the empty glass, nodding, "That makes sense. I just wanted to make sure they weren't going all the way up to your office to complain about it."
She raised the potion bottle to her nose, sniffing it. If she could work out what was in it, she might be able to make it herself for them. She really was feeling better, though she was still dehydrated.
"No, I've never seen them in my office unless there was an emergency with the soldiers or something that they warned me about. Now, speaking of breakfast, do you feel up to it, or do you need something else first?"
She pursed her lips, considering his query. She nodded, fairly sure she could handle something light. He lifted the tray and sat it on her lap, lifting the lid on the food and setting it on the table. Whipped eggs, with a side of sausage and a bread roll. Simple enough, though the sausage might be a bit greasy for her at the moment, and there was a lot more food there than she thought she could eat right then.
She looked at him with a smile, "Have you eaten breakfast? I won't be able to finish all of this. And you can have the sausage, I'm pretty sure that one's a bad idea for me right now."
He smirked, "I have, but I won't say no to the sausage. You take the rest, though. You'll need it."
He snatched the sausage from the plate and bit into it, then waved her on to encourage her own imbibing.
She sighed and picked up the fork next to her plate, digging into the eggs cautiously at first, taking a bite to test the waters. It went down more smoothly than she'd anticipated, which drove her to continue.
Cullen finished the sausage by the time she was halfway through her eggs. He'd sat back, leaning against the bedpost and lounging a bit like a cat on the edge of her bed, his eyes closed, face relaxed as he waited for her. The sight of him perfectly at ease on her bed made her heart flutter. She could almost imagine that exact same look on his face after they'd... Oh, Maker.
She shook herself to stop that particular train of thought, finishing off the eggs and pinching off pieces of the roll to distract herself as she tossed them in her mouth. It worked, somewhat. Mostly. By the time she'd finished the last of the roll, she was staring at him un-repentantly. It wasn't until he cracked one eye slightly open and raised an eyebrow that she looked away, blushing.
"I uh... finished," she murmured, gesturing to her empty plate.
He chuckled, "I see that. How are you feeling?"
Embarrassed. Horny. Crazy. In love.
She almost choked on her own tongue when her brain supplied that last juicy tidbit.
"Um, better, I think. Thank you," she managed a small smile of thanks and a flicker of eye contact, which quickly moved back down to her plate as she slid the tray off to the side. She hugged the blanket and sheet around her tightly, unsure of what else to do with her hands at that moment.
He lifted the tray and set it on the table, settling back onto her bed and hooking a finger under her chin, applying gentle pressure to get her to look at him, "Please look at me, this is hard enough without you looking like you think you've done something horrible."
She complied, blushing and swallowing.
He let her chin go, in favor of cupping her cheek, "You didn't, you know. Do something horrible, that is. Your effort might've been... unconventional, but it wasn't unwelcome. I just didn't want to take advantage of you."
She looked at him, hope thrilling her heart into a faster beat, "It... wasn't unwelcome?"
He chuckled, bringing his other hand up to fully hold her face in his hands and leaning in, "Alanna, if you had any idea how completely you drive me to distraction, you wouldn't have to ask that question. You are always welcome. Always."
His face was inches from hers, and she took a leap of love, her arms thrown around his neck as she crashed her lips to his. It was crazy, she knew it, and she managed to stop herself after a few seconds and withdraw, blushing fiercely.
"Sorry," she said. She wasn't. Not really.
His eyes were wide at first, then she saw his jaw muscles flex, his eyelids lowering as she could almost see his thoughts turn into the deeper roads of passion. His eyes darkened just as he pounced, kissing her lips, his tongue searing her skin as he moved down her jawline to her neck, nibbling and kissing his way to her shoulder and nipping there harshly. He brought his lips back to hers and he devoured her, completely. His arms nearly crushed her to his chest, his hands trailing up and down her bare back in a path of flame.
Suddenly, he stopped, his breath heaving. He pressed his forehead to hers. His eyes were closed tightly, and he was every bit the picture of a man trying to gain control of a beast that clawed at his heart to get out. For a moment, it looked like the beast might win. She hoped it would. Andraste's flaming knickers she hoped it would.
He threaded his fingers through her hair, hands cupping either side of her head as his breaths began to calm, the careful control he always wore slowly reasserting itself. He moved his lips up to meet where his forehead had been pressed, kissing her skin gently, like a man whispering a prayer to his goddess. He lingered there, and she could feel his hands shaking for just a moment before he broke away, denying himself the tactile sensation and temptation.
"I... we have... a lot to do today. Maker, I want to stay. But I can't," he looked pained beyond reason to say it, then desperation sprung to life in his eyes, "Come to my office tonight? Please?"
She found herself nodding eagerly before her mind had even processed the words to say, "Yes, I'll be there."
She could almost taste relief that came over his face, "Good. I'll wait for you, as long as it takes. I- I should go. But I'll wait for you."
She nodded, "Alright."
Her hands were resting on his arms, gripping him tightly. He looked down at them, then back at her with an amused smile.
"Oh! Sorry," she released him with a blush.
He chuckled, shaking his head and standing, then leaning down to press his lips to her cheek, murmuring, "Don't be," darkly against her skin. A shiver rolled its way up her spine, prickling her skin into forming gooseflesh over her entire body.
He straightened and looked at her with a crooked smile, then turned and picked up the tray, moving to the top of the staircase and pausing, looking back at her.
"I know I said I'd wait, but... please hurry, if you can."
She flushed, wordlessly nodding and swallowing thickly.
He smiled and gave a small bow, then walked down the stairs without another word.
When she heard the door close behind him, she fell back on her bed, completely dazed and utterly distracted.
"Maker's balls, I'm not gonna get a damn thing done today."
She sighed and smacked her palm to her forehead. This day would be hell.
Well, until she saw him again, at least.