I was asked to write a romantic piece for the holidays of CullenxAmell and so here it is dedicated to the person that requested it! It is slightly AU and I will try desperately to keep it in character. I warn you that there is slight crack.
Any way, I do not own dragon age that pleasure is bioware. Not really rated just yet.
Because Winter Is Wonderful
Knight-Commander Greagoir was caught in the midst of an outraged fit. His thoughts troubled by the recent news from the Grand Cleric that made his blood boil. He did not care what the Antivan's did in their Circle, but in Fereldan it was inappropriate to suggest such things. He did not like the fact that the Grad Cleric was proud at the marked amount of fewer incidences of turmoil that resulted from the Antivan idea. It was inconceivable to him that the Grand Cleric could even endorse such an idea.
Templars and mages being allowed to kiss during winter solstice! The very thought made him angry and offended all over again. Bloody Antivans'. Only they could think up something like this! He roared in his head. Greagoir was at first amused when the messenger had brought the tidings of mistletoe, a plant that the Chantry recognized as a poison mind you, would be hung in the tower. At first, he had indulgently listened, then the messenger went on to emphasize that the Antivan Circle of Magi had a custom of allowing people who were caught under this dried plant, to kiss. Greagoir had still been faintly intrigued by such a custom after all what harm could mages kissing do?
Then the blow had been struck swift and hard to his gut. His mind had rebelled with everything in it when the messenger had the gall, nay the death wish, to inform him that templars were permitted to kiss the mages at their discretion. The little snot had informed him, the Knight-Commander, that the grad Cleric had carefully monitored such a practice within the Antivan Circle and found far higher good will toward the templars and more docile mages. There had even been a written document to attest to the Grand Cleric's fondness for the idea by commanding him to implement such a practice "at once".
Greagoir could not believe it. First Enchanter Irving had laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks and his breathing had been so labored that no sound could escape his parted lips. Greagoir truly hated him in moments like this.
"Come now old friend. It is not the end of the world as we know it." Irving had remarked candidly.
Greagoir could feel his nostrils flare in tale-tell irritation. "It may as well be." He replied stiffly.
"Now, now I am sure that all of our young charges know how to conduct themselves. It is not as if they will go off and make love to any of the templars." Irving was referring to the mages attempting to both soothe and irk Greagoir. He succeeded on further irking him at the least.
"It is not done!" Greagoir hissed in embarrassment at the thought of such…illicit happenings. "This is madness that will plunge the Circle into the depths of the Black City."
Irving quirked a brow at the melodramatic display. "Oh come now, we are talking about a chaste kiss!" He cackled at the discomfort of his long time antagonist. "A kiss on the cheek, the temple, or the lips." He paused to watch Greagoir's face drain of all color. "Well do nothing to the Circle in the slightest."
"The lips?" the elder templar asked in disbelief. "In earnest, you think my men will try to kiss their lips?" He swayed slightly in his armor. What has Thedas come to?
The mage laughed all the harder at the horror etched in every line of the other's face. "You are old, not dead Greagoir." He said smirking slightly. "Even you must remember a time when women were pretty."
Greagoir blanched even further. He remembered those times all too well. It was what made him worry all the more. The Knight-Commander knew what his men would be thinking and none of those thoughts would be 'chaste'. It was his firm opinion that the tower was doomed t fall into a state of depravity and wanton fornication.
Irving shook his head bemused at Greagoir's reactions and smiled widely. "Well if you are quite done my friend, I believe I have this 'mistletoe' to procure and mages to inform." A cat would have been put to shame at his feral grin. My, my, I almost feel pity for the templars.
Greagoir dragged a shaky hand through his hair. He would have to inform the men. How by the Maker's light was he supposed to tell them that temptation would be lurking in every room, and they would just have to steel themselves against it? He groaned and closed his eyes against the image of soft pink lips and wide sagely eyes.
No. He thought bitterly. He would not give into this insanity so soon. Mages were dangerous. What would they do to his men? What would they do with their soft lips, touchable skin, and white hair? Greagoir roused himself from the last thought. He blushed in the empty room.
The young templar's where looking worriedly at each other. Why had the Knight-Commander called them? Their minds asked in hushed agitation. They had been relieved from their posts by grinning older templar's who looked for all the might of the Maker, like they had just been given excellent news. So why were the younger men so afraid?
It was simply the fact that the Knight-Commander never called them all together in one go. He never had been so secretive in his commands except in times of danger or unrest. The young men knew that the winter solstice was coming and this was normally a time of peace and happiness for the Circle. They shifted quietly in the small room of the Knight-Commander's study.
Greagoir looked at them grimly. His mouth was set in a thin line that whitened his lips considerably. The young men became more nervous.
"It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the Grand Cleric's latest wishes." Greagoir intoned sternly. The young templar's halted all movement, including breathing as they listened in rapt attention. The Grand Cleric was a being almost as powerful as the Maker in their eyes. Her law was absolute. "In her esteemed wisdom, her holiness had decreed that during the time of Winter Solstice, and only Winter Solstice" His voice bit out angrily and with reproach. "That anyone caught under a plant called 'Mistletoe', which will be hung from the doorways, shall have to kiss whoever is under it with them."
This was met with silence from the young templars. What could this possibly mean to them?
Greagoir bit his tongue for a moment, and swallowed with force to continue. "Her holiness has stated that in the event that someone is passing under the 'mistletoe' alone, that a …" he drew a steadying breath. "That a templar may kiss them if the templar chooses."
The young templars sweated under their armor. They were being given permission to kiss the mages if they wanted? The effect of the words was near instantiations as grins broke out across the room. Their pleasure kept from the regard of the Knight-Commander by their helms.
Greagoir noted their silence with a sense of approval. The young men seemed to be a thoroughly disgusted with this idea as he was. The risk of falling from grace seemed too high in his opinion. He draws a labored breath for the last part of the missive. "And finally, her most esteemed holiness wishes me to tell you that she trusts that you will all do your best to adhere to her new decree." He bit back the wave of anger that broke through his words. The Grand Cleric was all but commanding them to sin.
May the Maker turn his gaze upon them and keep them from corruption.
It was noted by every mage the next day, that all the templars' seemed to have extraordinarily shiny armor. Dents that had been their previously seemed to have been banged out and worn spots in the skirt of their armor were patched. The female and male mages alike giggled in understanding. The templars were preening.
The templars also were decidedly more cordial to the mages, and the mages were exceptionally polite back. The very air in the Circle seemed to have lightened overnight. In response to their display of eagerness, the female mages could be seen wearing their hair in sweet arrangements or applying makeup after lessons. The female mages young and old wore their nicer sets of robes or belts. The mages were flaunting.
Giggling and chattering became the norm for the few days before Winter Solstice while the tower seemed to wait with baited breath for the arrival of the mistletoe. With each day that passed, the occupants of the Circle grew more and more excited. This was going to be a winter solstice to be remembered!
It was seen all over the tower; the mages strutting by and casting coy looks at the templars who could only watch helplessly with delight. Even the male mages were seen teasing the templars on occasion. Certain templars started carrying particular mage's books or helping to lift heavy things. Particular mages started talking with and flirting with certain templars, who still blushed with delight at every occurrence.
Most notable of all was one certain templar Cullen. Who, had received the news with a blissful sort of shock that had his heart racing in his ears. Maker, you know my deepest wishes and I humbly thank you for seeing fit to grant one of the largest.
He had not heard so much as a word of the Knight-Commander's closing warning about being careful around the mages and not to fall into temptation. To him, it didn't matter. He was going to be allowed the one guilty pleasure he had dreamt of for three years now. He would get to kiss Solona Amell.
Cullen had become far bolder in the last four days than he had in the previous 1,095 days since he had first spoken to her. He, like all the other men, had spent the first night anxiously polishing his armor and sword. He wanted to make the best impression should he catch her under the plant. It seemed, to his vast relief, that he was not the only man pining away for one of the mages.
In fact, it had turned out to be exactly the opposite. There were very few men who did not have someone they loved among the magical ranks. There was a smattering of men that had fallen for the same mage, but that they would have been hard pressed to avoid as there were a limited number of women in the tower.
It had shocked and awed him when a few of the braver souls had spoken up about which particular mage they were hoping to kiss. Not, of course, that they planned to seek any mage out to kiss them. That would have been inappropriate. No, they were all simply hoping to end up in the same vicinity as the object of their desire and had agreed to change watches where such a circumstance applied.
Cullen had waited impatiently the very next morning after the Knight-Commander's announcement by the library. Solona always came this way after breaking her fast and he wanted to be sure that he was the first templar she saw on her way there. Cullen had tried his best to calm the dragons that were hatching in his stomach.
"Good morning Cu-." Her voice drew his attention and he had startled slightly, having had not seen her approach. She gazed up at him and he very nearly swallowed. "Cullen? Did you get new armor?" She tilted her head and her eyes slowly wandered his frame. He failed to stop himself from standing straighter under her gaze.
"Go-Good M-Morning Solona." He flushed as his accursed stutter came back with full force. It was always her that he had this problem with. "Uh. No-no, it's my o-old armor."
"Ah." She made a pleased hum in the back of her throat. "Well I guess I just never noticed before." Her smile made his knees feel weak. Cullen loved it when she smiled at him, and his eyes locked on her lips for just a moment. Sweet Maker, how kind you are to have made her. "So…" Her eyes looked away from him and a faint blush rose on her cheeks. "Have you heard the news?"
Cullen swallowed at her question. He had heard every word with great rapture. "I…yes." He stated simply as he tried to avoid having to stutter. Her silence to his reply stretched tautly on his nerves and he sought to break it."What…d-do you think ab-about it?"
Her pretty eyes looked back up at his face and she smiled showing off a set of pearly-white teeth. "Oh, I think it has merit." She quirked an eyebrow at him and Cullen grinned back at her.
"I'm glad." He murmured and watched as she clutched the set of books she was carrying tighter to her chest.
"I had better get to my lesson." She took a tentative step away from him and Cullen was left feeling slightly at a loss.
"May I…May I carry th-those for you?" He extended one armor-clad finger to point at her books. There were only three of them but Cullen was sure they must be quite heavy.
She smiled slowly and a blush decorated her cheeks prettily. "I would like that, thank you." She moved to hold the books out for him and Cullen grabbed them quickly lest she change her mind.
Dear Maker, when will Winter Solstice be here?