1. Introduction

"Do you remember when first we met?"

Lyla's question pulls Cullen out of his doze. His fingers run idly through Lyla's hair, her head resting on his chest. It's late in the afternoon, and somehow they had managed to slip away from responsibilities for the rest of the day after a morning of back-to-back meetings. Lyla had invited him up to her rooms under the pretence of discussing the upcoming journey to Val Royeaux for the Exalted Council but, well, one thing had led to another and their work lay forgotten on the stairs of her chambers. Not that they are exclusively her chambers anymore.

She props herself on her elbow, bringing the covers up to her chest and looks down at him, her head cocked to the side. He smiles lazily, his hand still lost in her hair tumbling down her back.


She rolls her eyes. "Do you remember when we first met?" she repeats.

Cullen scratches his head with his free hand. "Of course I do. Why?"

Lyla hums, chewing her bottom lip. "Well, we never really talked about it. First impressions and all."

He chuckles. "Alright, well we first met at Haven, didn't we? During those introductions with Cassandra."

She shakes her head. "Incorrect Commander - try again."

"Incorrect?" he repeats.

"Incorrect," she confirms.

Cullen casts his mind back, thinking to the days of when the Inquisition was newly formed. He remembers when they had first been introduced at Haven - how she had stood hesitantly in the doorway in Cassandra's shadow. How he'd first noticed the vallaslin on her cheeks and her curious eyes analysing each of the advisors when being introduced. He remembers the first time they looked at each other across the war table, when he realised how green her eyes were, and how they were almost the same colour as the breach in the sky -

He remembers and looks at Lyla. "Oh, you mean first first met?"

"First first."

Taking a breath, Cullen remembers when she had stood back-to-back with him, fighting the demons around them in the ruins of the conclave. He remembers the feel of her protective magical ward, remembers seeing glimpses of her our of the corner of his eye as he cut down demons, one after another.

"I remember - it was when you came up to seal the breach."

She beams. "Yep. And what were your, ah, impressions of me?" her face blushes prettily, making his heart beat faster.

"Honestly? I couldn't keep my eyes off you… but we'd only just met." He thinks back to that sensation of his chest tightening when they had fought together, when they had been introduced briefly before she marched on the summit. "I remember watching you leave and praying to the Maker that you would survive. There was… something about you I couldn't place: it's only now that I'm realising this," he admits with a lazy smile.

She leans forward, her hair falling around her face and kisses him softly. "You know just what to say, don't you?" she teases.

"I'm simply being honest," he laughs. "Alright, your turn: what about you?"

Lyla licks her lips. "I remember thinking - halfway through the skirmish - that you were a Templar and I was fighting beside you. Me, a mage, fighting beside a Templar. I'd been told to avoid Templars all my life, and here I was casting a shield around us." She pauses, looking almost shy. "Don't you think that, even then, we seemed to…ah, fit together?"

"I suppose you're right. Although I still don't understand it."

They fall into a comfortable silence. Cullen thinks that if he'd known at the conclave that this is where they would be now, that he would not be able to believe it. That this incredible woman - a mage no less - would change his life in such an incredible way… he shakes his head.

"What is it?"

Cullen chuckles. "If my young, Templar self could see me now, lying in bed with the most beautiful woman who happens to be a mage. It almost makes me laugh."

He watches as she blushes at his words, how she edges closer to him and tangles her legs up with his. How her eyelashes flutter as she leans down to kiss him.

Without a doubt, he knows that he needs to ask her soon.

I hope you enjoyed! More to come! If you have a prompt, please share and I'll see what I can do...