A/N: This is based off the Leliana's Song DLC, and won't make any sense at all if you haven't played that!
They find each other almost blindly; instinct drawing them together somewhere between the coast and the Chantry. The rain has slowed to a slight mist and she revels in the roughness of his hands. Callused fingers slip under her armour, freeing only the necessary parts. She turns readily at his guidance. On hands and knees in the dirt of the forest he takes her and she closes her eyes, determined to take the act for what it is: cleansing.
With every thrust, Marjolaine is purged from her body. With every slap of his thighs against the backs of hers, Leliana lets her body be taken over by something primal. There is no laughter, nothing pretty, no masks or games or lies and she feels purified.
After, he looks at her with near embarrassment. Leliana cannot help but smile. He is broken in ways she cannot understand, yet she knows he needed that as much as she. Silently, they re-fasten their armour and in the mist of the forest, she squeezes his hand.
He nods in understanding and for the first time, she looks into his eyes. Guarded and heavy, they reveal little of his inner thoughts. They are the eyes of a prisoner, tortured for months on end.
She made the right choice, letting him take care of Captain Raleigh. Revenge is a dirty thing, but she is beginning to understand its necessity. Somewhere in Silas' gaze, Leliana thinks she may start to make sense of the betrayal she feels down to her core.
. . . .
They head for Lothering together.
Best to be out of Denerim, Dorothea tells her. Best to find her way somewhere further from the capital, further from suspicion and Leliana knows she is right. She gives Sketch a tight embrace, Hildegard a tentative smile and Dorothea only the slightest nod before they set off on their journey.
Their pilgrimage, really.
Neither of them say much, but the silence is companionable. She is unaccustomed to the ease of it, the quiet. There is an expectation bred in her that nothing should ever be this calm and it is an adjustment to find comfort in the sound of breathing, left alone with her thoughts despite his presence right beside her.
Silas, for his part, seems equally lost inside his mind. Jaw set with a tightness that seems to give way inch by inch with every step they take. They are carried away from the site of both of their hardship, from the place they had both left awash with broken lives and blood.
Her own heart seems to lift as they travel. While Ferelden holds no candle to Orlais, she sees a different sort of beauty in the rolling landscape. Something grounding her from the flights of fancy she tries not to entertain. She cannot go back to Orlais, cannot continue the life she had been so convinced was the place for her.
Silas clears his throat and Leliana raises her eyebrows to look at him.
But Silas only shakes his head at her expectant glance and she thinks she sees the faintest hint of a smile at the edges of his mouth.
She hopes he is finding peace in their journey, as she is.
. . . .
Lothering is nothing like she expected.
There is something strangely pretty about the river, flowing through the center of the village. As she and Silas make their way towards the Chantry, she can already see it as somewhere she might call home.
They fall into their roles easily.
Her faith becomes a guiding light, a beacon that takes her from the darkness of her past and the twist of fear that Marjolaine is still out there, coming for her. Her head bowed in prayer and she is holy, the chant anchoring her to the world in a way she never imagined.
Silas seems to take to Chantry life as well. He is not a brother, nor a Templar. His role is harder to describe but when he and Leliana pass in the hall or meet eyes over a shared meal, she sees something lurking in his eyes- a shadow of warmth and, of personality. For a long moment she wishes she could truly know him.
It is silly, though. They are both broken, bound together by shared experience but distant in impassable ways. She cannot see the whole of him because she is a reminder of all the ways he is broken. In her presence, he cannot shake the ghost of torture and though she smiles, she starts to wish they'd met under different circumstances.
. . . .
It is the height of summer when she hears the news.
Silas is leaving, heading to the Redcliffe Chantry instead. Leliana feels an odd pang in her heart at the thought, somewhere between sorrow and joy. She will miss him, her quiet friend. Charming, in his own way. Yet she knows he needs to move on, to step further away from the shackles he had been held in.
She stands in the sunlight near the Chanter's Board, letting the warmth sink into her skin and when he stops in front of her to say goodbye, she embraces him.
"I will never forget you, my friend." Her voice is not choked with sorrow, she is beyond the selfishness that would indicate. Instead, she holds tightly to his shoulders and can't shake the brief thought that this summer day is so far from the cold damp dungeon where they first met.
He returns her hug, hands still rough against her skin and Leliana can feel him smile against her hair.
"Thank-you, Leliana" is all he says.
It's all he needs to.
She stands in the sunlight and watches him leave and only when his back is out of sight does she turn back to the Chantry.
It is not the end of her journey, she knows. Yet for the first time since Marjolaine's dagger pierced her side, Leliana's sight is firmly towards the future.
A/N: As always, thanks to the wonderful NuitNuit for the beta! And thanks to anyone who read this! I found the DLC really engaging and absolutely *had* to write something afterward.