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Summary: Leliana wonders when she stopped noticing the smell of wet dog. A short fic on home, and where to find it. Leliana/PC. One-shot.


Ferelden has always smelled like wet dog. It's because in Ferelden, dogs are worshipped, treated like people and fellow warriors, not pets. In Orlais, the thought would have been mind-boggling, but its become a little endearing to her after all this time.

When she first stepped foot on Ferelden shores, the smell was the only thing she could focus on. Maker, how can they live with that awful smell? She thought then, covering her nose in horror. She was so focused on the smell that she did not even notice how very green the country could be until much later, when the Blight had turned everything brown and ugly with its taint.

In Lothering, she found herself buying perfumes and sweet-smelling oils to try and cover up the smell. Eventually, she learned to deal with it, learned exactly what sort of perfumes and flowers could keep the scent from becoming overpowering, but the smell remained jus t the same.

Nowadays, she travels with an actual wet dog, and doesn't even notice the scent.

It's not that the Ferelden wilds smell all that much better—if anything, they should smell worse than the Chantry she spent the past two years in—it's just she's used to the smell. It takes confronting Marjolaine, hearing her former mentor comment on the smell, for her to realize that she can't smell it anymore. She tries, taking in a deep breath of the Denerim market air, but the smell goes unnoticed, like it's not even there.

Beside her, Dog barks cheerfully.

She has always considered herself a Ferelden citizen, but now she believes it. The old Leliana—the one raised in Orlais, who wore pretty shoes and cared too much about her hair, who used and abused anyone for information—would have agreed with Marjolaine, would have been appalled to find herself here, in this impoverished nation with boy-short hair and mud-caked boots and smelling of wet dog . But the new Leliana doesn't even notice. This Leliana is a Ferelden, and it shows.

She wonders how it is that she has found peace. How this country that smells like wet dog could become her home, that these strange fellows—a drunk dwarf, an Antivan assassin, a sheltered former Templar, a witch of the Wilds, a wise old Circle mage, a dog—could come to be her family, well, she will never know.

How could she have been so lucky to have found her Warden? It's something else she will never take for granted. She considers it to be the work of the Maker himself: how else could they have found each other, found happiness and peace amongst all the terrible tragedy that surrounds them day-by-day?

Her Warden grins, walks up to her, and places a flower in her hair. Andraste's grace. Her favorite.

"Pretty flower for a pretty lady?" Her love whispers against her ear, lips barely brushing the outer rim of her ear.

Leliana giggles. "Do you pick flowers for all the pretty girls, do you?"

Her lover winks at her. "Only the prettiest ones."

They kiss, a brief mesh of soft lips and love.

"You should take some for yourself then," Leliana whispers, tearing the sprig of flowers in half. She places half the flowers behind her love's ear, and giggles. They match. "I find you rather pretty, after all."

Her lover merely rolls her eyes and pulls her close, so Leliana can rest her head upon her Warden's chest.

Dog barks happily and hops onto her lap; together, the three of them snuggle closely.

For the first time in her life, she is home. And that is enough.


END

A/N: I wrote this with f!Cousland in mind, but really, it works for any PC (I hope). I'm romancing Leliana with a Cousland (shut up yes I know I have a problem) and I really like it. More than I liked Leliana/my Dalish, even. Then again, Leliana's not being RACIST this time. ^_^

I reaalllyy want a threesome fic between f!Cousland/Leliana/Alistair. I can't believe it doesn't already exist.

Also, YAY FINALS ARE OVER!

jak