?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
03 March 2015 @ 08:06 pm
FIC: Not So Different (Dragon Age: Inquisition, Trevelyan & Leliana, Trevelyan/Iron Bull), G  
Title: Not So Different
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: March 3rd, 2015
Rating: G
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Characters/Pairings: Maxwell Trevelyan/Iron Bull (Pre-Relationship), Maxwell Trevelyan & Leliana (friendship), Cremisius "Krem" Aclassi, Bull's Chargers
Disclaimer: All the characters © David Gaider/BioWare. I make no money from this.
Summary: Maxwell had a hard time finding a place for himself, but maybe it would change with time. So far he decided to just focus on talking with people. And trying not to stare at Iron Bull too much. Leliana might understand him better than he thought.
Spoilers: Beginning of the game
Warnings: None
Beta: lil_1337
Author's Notes: Part 1 of the "Finding Your Place" series.
This is my first fic for Dragon Age series. I have a soft spot for my Inquisitor and other characters, too. I decided to finally write something for this fandom, because I have a lot of ideas.
For the first part of the series I decided to write some friendship, because I love Leliana very much and I really want to hug her. A lot.
Krem appears, too, because Krem is pretty irresistible.
Mentioned at: At AO3 *HERE*




*NOT SO DIFFERENT*


Maxwell Trevelyan left the room just as Leliana and Commander Cullen stopped discussing the details of gathering more coin. They had sat by the war table for the last three hours to discuss the most pressing matters and if not for the grape juice brought by Josephine, Maxwell was sure this meeting would have been much more tiring.

They needed more coin, at least this was one thing they all agreed on. It was something. Small victories. Deciding to leave anything else until they could secure their sources was the most logical course of action and more coin was always needed in Haven. So far they had done well in terms of weapons, armours, healing potions and food, but even with Josephine’s negotiating skills and the merchants’ support, their resources were decreasing.

When Maxwell left the building and he felt the cold, fresh air on his face, he woke up almost immediately. The tiredness he felt for the last three hours was completely gone. Surprisingly, every meeting at the war table was much more exhausting than travelling from city to city.

He had gotten back from Redcliffe four hours ago and went to meet with Cassandra, Leliana, Josephine and Cullen right after he left his belongings in his tent and delivered elf root and other herbs to Adan, so the apothecary can restock and work on enhancing the healing potions.

And now, since Maxwell was sure he wouldn't be able to go to sleep anytime soon, he could just sit down in his favourite place: on the wall near the main gates. From there he had the perfect view on Haven, even at night. He could observe not only the people in the village, but also warriors and everybody else who set their tents just outside the walls. It became a habit by now. Ever since arriving, when he just needed to get away from being the supposed Herald of Andraste, he would sit there and just watch everything, trying not to think about anything in particular.

He cherished these small moments when he could just sit down and not do anything, especially since they had became a rarity. It was a luxury he cherished, as between filling in the role of the Herald people wanted to see and making decisions about the Inquisition, there wasn’t much time where he could be himself. Just Maxwell Trevelyan from Ostwick.

He sighed.

The sunset was beautiful. The air was cool but refreshing, and the lights from numerous fires created the feeling of warmth, as people sat together in small groups, talking and laughing. All of them needed some time off.

“That all ya got!?”

“Wanna find out?”

Maxwell looked to the right where their tents set up the Bull’s Chargers, their newest allies. They were sitting wherever they could, observing and cheering as two from the group, a hooded dwarf and a quickly moving elf with a red neckerchief, jumped around, sparring. Those watching them were laughing and drinking. It was hard to turn away.

Those people intrigued him. He had a chance to talk to only one of them, not counting their leader, but between missions at the Storm Coast he was able to spend time around them. It gave him enough time to watch how well their worked together and how each of them made sure that the others were fine. They were effective, precise and loyal to each other and their leader.

Iron Bull was... a mystery. When Maxwell met him on the Storm Coast the experience left an indelible impression on him, to say the least.

He had to admit, he never personally met a Qunari before, true, but it wasn’t only that.

The Chargers’ leader was intimidating. Broad chest and shoulders, horns almost as wide as his shoulders and a big axe held in one hand, like it weighted nothing. It was hard to read anything from his expression, even when he was grinning at his own jokes or whenever one of his team commented on something, but his eyes always stayed focused. Those eyes were what caught Maxwell’s attention in the first place, doesn’t matter how much Varric kept joking about Maxwell staring at Bull’s chest and horns every chance he got.

Bull didn’t mind, apparently.

“Don’t worry, boss, you can look all you like.”

Varric snorted at that and Maxwell felt his face heat up.

The thing was, Bull was actually open about a lot of things, from the Chargers’ quests to his preferences. He didn’t mind telling Maxwell about Ben-Hassrath and being a spy, not so long after their first meeting. However, Maxwell couldn’t help but feel that even if their chats were casual and it was Maxwell who asked questions, there was this strange feeling that Bull was the one who really led the conversation. He wasn’t really surprised. Bull was a spy after all.

Now the Qunari was sitting in front of his tent, drinking beer and smirking at something his people were probably saying. He burst out laughing when a blond elf commented on something, pointing to the fighting mercenaries, and Maxwell wondered what could have made Bull laugh like that. It was hard not to smile when he heard that sound.

Right then this team reminded him of a family. It made him realize that he actually missed the feeling of... belonging somewhere. And it wasn’t even about Ostwick, really. He followed the “home is where the heart is.” It was more the fact that it was hard for him to find a place for himself among all these people that looked up to him. He knew he could talk to Varric, and even Josephine had offered to talk to him if Maxwell needed to, and while he really appreciated it, it just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t like the bond he saw between every member of the Bull’s Chargers.

“You’re not bored, sittin’ here all alone like that, your worship?”

Maxwell turned his head to look at Cremisius Aclassi, Iron Bull’s second in command, who was standing by the main gate, looking at him, and holding two tankards of beer. The man smirked as he noticed Maxwell looking in the direction of the Bull’s Chargers’ tents.

“You know, being bored is actually a nice change around here,” he replied and Krem snickered.

“True enough, I s’ppose. I thought that after you and the chief got back from Redcliffe you’d get some shut-eye or something. He said you looked weird. Tired, I mean,” he said and Maxwell smiled at him.

“Apparently I’m not the only one who is not sleepy.”

Krem smiled back at him then. “Nah, the big lug has too much energy today.”

“So the party will go on, then?”

“Yeah. I’m gonna get back and give him his beer. Goodnight, your worship.”

“Have fun, Krem.”

When Maxwell saw Krem joining his team a few minutes later, Iron Bull snagged the beer from his Lieutenant’s hand and smiled brightly at him, baring his teeth, and Krem sat down next to him, sipping his beer.

Maxwell smiled at the sight. He looked at them one last time, then sighed and laid down on his back, closing his eyes. The wall was cold, true, and people keep pointing it out to him, but he didn’t feel it much through his mail and coat. At least it wasn’t snowing.

He must have nodded off at some point, apparently he was a bit tired after all, because when he felt somebody shaking his shoulder gently, he opened his eyes and sat up quickly. So quickly that he almost knocked his head against Leliana’s.

“What are you doing here?”

She was kneeling next to him, one eyebrow raised questioningly.

“You do know it might get cold at night, don’t you?” she asked and Maxwell sighed, standing up.

“Yes, thanks. I was just resting,” he brushed off his coat quickly and looked around. It was dark outside and almost everyone was back at their tents already, which meant he slept at least a few hours. “Did anything happen?”

“No, don’t worry. I was just making sure you aren't going to freeze to death,” she said and stood up as well. “If you were sleeping out here any longer I bet your back would kill you in the morning. Believe me, I know,” the corner of her lips lifted in a half-smile, one he usually saw her cast when she was sure of herself.

“Well, my back thanks you, I guess.”

“You’re welcome.”

“It could be worse,” he replied. He blinked a couple of times, trying to overcome the urge to yawn, and turned to quickly look in the direction of the tents of Iron Bull and his team. The only people sitting in front of them now were a blond man and the dwarf who was fighting earlier, probably keeping watch. The rest must have already went to sleep.

And Maxwell just fell asleep on the wall, not thinking that his carelessness made him a perfectly easy target if anyone had decided to pay them a visit right then. Damn all of this! He tightened his grasp on his staff in irritation. At least nothing had happened.

He heard Leliana moving from him and he shook his head, resigned. She jumped down from the wall gracefully, and turned to look at him, her hood hiding her face in the shadow. “Come on. This place isn’t very good if you want to spend some time alone.”

“Yeah,” he jumped down, landing right next to Leliana. She climbed the stairs so he assumed they were going to the main headquarters, but then she turned to the old building in the corner. He followed her, wondering where exactly they were going.

“I’m going to show you a place better than the main wall,” she said right before sneaking behind the building. He went after her and looked at her questioningly when she stepped closer to the wall. A smile appeared on her face. “You’re not very good at hiding your emotions. It’s fairly easy to read you, especially when you look surprised.”

“That is... not a good news, I think,” he replied quietly. Leliana didn’t respond as she started working the window open quietly. It didn’t take long and she looked as she had done it before, so Maxwell assumed it wasn’t the first time she was here.

When they climbed inside the house Maxwell looked around. This house usually stood empty, as far as he knew, so he assumed it was used as a storehouse, which is why it stayed closed.

Everything inside was stacked in order, even if it was dusty and it was clear not many people had access to this place. Maxwell looked into one of the already opened case, seeing amulets and belts.

“Cullen keeps a key to this place, to make sure no one gets in.”

“Well, you got in,” he noticed one of the amulets he found on the way to the Storm Coast and touched it briefly. “Does that mean he doesn’t know you know how to get in here?”

“Oh, he knows,” she said and sat on the floor in an empty corner of the house. “He asked me to keep an eye on this place. People don’t suspect this building, but since he has the key to make sure no one from the city or from the outside gets in, I told him I’ll most likely guard it from the inside as well.”

“But if you got in, anyone could find a way as well, right?” he turned to her and after a while sat down next to her on the ground.

“Possibly. But at this point, we do what we can,” she said and leaned against the wall. “My people keep observing this place.”

“If no one besides you, Cullen, and I assume, Josephine and Cassandra, should be here, why did you bring me here? I don’t think Cassandra trusts me that much just yet, so she might not be happy about that.”

Leliana smiled at that, but Maxwell noticed that this smile did not reach her eyes.

“Because I was watching you for some time now. I noticed you walking around, trying to find a place for yourself,” she said after a while, looking at him only after he put his staff on the floor beside him. “In your situation, I’m not surprised. And this place... no one comes here. It’s quiet. Lets you think.”

“You wouldn’t mind me coming here?”

“No,” she answered and closed her eyes, her head resting against the wall. Maxwell noticed that her expression changed. Her eyebrows furrowed slightly, she drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. Maxwell did not say anything about it. When Leliana spoke again, she looked thoughtful.

“Some say that not knowing what the future brings is less scary than the nightmares brought by the past. Your past choices haunting you and keeping you awake, remembering what you have lost and sacrificed... it’s difficult to let go of it. You can’t change it, but all of it influences everything you do in the future. And now our future is even less certain,” she glanced at him, and it was hard for him to look away just then. “You have a lot to think about. We may don’t know why you or what have you done to end up here, but we can’t change it. Let me handle Cassandra.”

“Why?”

“Because we may not be so different from each other. Losing something important is never easy, be it home, stability or... anything else. And we’re in this together.”

“What have you lost? If you don’t mind me asking,” he added quickly, not wanting to overstep any lines.

Leliana got up, put a hand on the wall. “Inspiration,” she answered quietly and went to the window.
“Iron Bull and his people agreed to investigate caves our people found at the Storm Coast. They should be back in two days.”

“Why are you telling me this?” he asked, honestly surprised, but then, she smiled. This time, it was an amused smile.

“I saw you looking at their tents earlier. I told you, you’re easy to read.”

“I’ll try to work on that.”

“Maybe Bull will help you, if you ask him?”

“Very funny.”

She shook her head, but it was clear her spirit was lifted up, even if only a bit. She moved to the window to leave the place when Maxwell stopped her.

“Leliana?”

“Yes?”

“Thank you.”

She nodded and smiled gently, before leaving.

Maxwell stayed alone in the building. The place was quiet, but definitely warmer than he expected when he looked at it from the outside. He looked around, sighing and remembered what Leliana told him.

Maybe she was right and they weren’t so different? It was the first time the spymaster actually talked to him, shared something with him. It was comforting. It also made him wonder what had happened in Leliana’s life before the Inquisition started. What influenced her to choose this path in life and what she lost, but it wasn’t his business. It was something private that still must have weighted on her mind, and he didn’t want to rub salt into the wound.

He looked at the mark on his hand and sighed. Even if it was hard to predict what would happen in the future, all of them would keep fighting.


 
 
*Mood*: okayokay