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24 February 2016 @ 07:49 pm
FIC: Don't Fear (Dragon Age: Origins, f!Cousland/f!Amell), PG (Femslash February)  
Title: Don't Fear
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: February 24th, 2016
Rating: PG
Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins
Characters/Pairings: female!Cousland/female!Amell, Zevran Arainai (mentioned), Sten (mentioned)
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. I make no money from this.
Summary: Elissa and Solona get separated from the rest of their team and try to find their way out of the tunnels.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Beta: lil_1337
Author's Notes: Written for Femslash February, for a prompt generated by Dragon Age Random Pairing & Prompt Generator:
Prompt1
Mentioned at: At AO3 *HERE*




*DON'T FEAR*


Solona followed Elissa throughout the cave, looking around the dark corridors and focusing on maintaining the light she created, as Elissa moved forward, her sword before her, ready to repel any attack.

They had been separated from Sten and Zevran more than four hours ago, at least that was what Solona assumed, however, it was difficult to keep track of time when all the corridors they passed had looked the same and they haven’t taken any breaks since they had lost contact with the rest of the party.

Getting back to the collapsed corridor was out of question since they couldn’t go there without risking further damages, which, if they weren’t careful enough, could permanently trap them in the underground caves. Moving forward was the only thing they could do, even if they weren’t sure where would the tunnels lead them. She hoped the rest of their party was safe and could follow their originally chosen way.

She should have heard the cracking, the sounds of the loose stones, and stop Elissa from collecting deep mushrooms and frostrocks in the side corridor, but it was too late now. There was no point in dwelling on something they couldn’t change. They had to find a way out of the tunnels and find the rest as soon as possible. Between them they had four health poultices, which meant they should save them as much as they could, and if it was possible, refrain from fighting if they could help it. Solona just hoped Elissa would share her point of view on that.

Since they had decided to go forward the warrior had fallen quiet, focusing on keeping her eye on everything around them and being prepared, and besides short observations on what should they do, she hadn’t said much else. It was worrying Solona. More than once she had wanted to ask what was wrong, if the warrior had been well, but everything she heard were short replies, so after a while she had stopped asking.

Fortunately they hadn’t encountered anything dangerous on the way so far, but on the other hand the silence and tension between them was growing and Solona had no idea how to approach Elissa when the other woman clearly didn’t want to talk.

“This bridge doesn’t look stable,” Solona observed when they reached a deep precipice with a narrow hanging bridge. Some planks were gone, some looked damaged, but it was the only way if they wanted to move forward. “It seems like no one has used this path for quite some time.”

Elissa walked up to the edge of the precipice and looked down, a frown on her face deepening as she knelt down, looking around. “There is no other way,” the warrior said. “There are no steps, no ladders, not even ledges. Shit.”

Solona saw Elissa tightening the hold on her sword and clenching her teeth as she looked at the bridge again. She stood up and hid her sword, never taking her eyes off the other side of the precipice. “You go first and I’ll follow. I’ll keep an eye on the bridge.”

She unclasped her shield and put it on the ground, then proceeded to put away everything she collected.

“What are you doing?”

“This bridge won’t hold me when I’m carrying all of this. I still can fight without the shield and the rest is expendable,” Elissa stated matter-of-factly. “You’re lighter even when you’re carrying your staff, your pouch and everything else, so I can keep an eye on the bridge when you go first. If something surprises us on the other hand, you can protect us.”

“Elissa…”

“Go, Solona,” the warrior said without looking at her. “We shouldn’t linger if we want to get out of here.”

“I will,” Solona stepped closer to Elissa, raising her hand to gently wrap her fingers around the warrior’s wrist, hoping to draw her attention. “But be careful, please.”

“Go.”

What else could she do? She walked up to the bridge, looking at the other end of it first, before she tightened the hold on her staff. Taking a few deep breaths, avoiding looking at her feet or at the bridge, she started moving forward, slowly but surely, as she tried not to lose the grip on the ropes. It was difficult not to feel the bridge swaying with her every step or the planks creaking, and Solona tried to stay calm and not look down. It was difficult, but she tried to focus on getting to the other side and on listening to Elissa.

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but when her feet finally touched the solid ground again, and she finally felt stable, she let out a deep breath, leaning against her staff. After she composed herself she turned to look at the other side of the precipice, where Elissa, who had taken off as much of her armor as she could, was looking at the bridge. Only in her light clothing, a chest plate and a chain mail, with her sword strapped securely to her belt, the warrior took the first step and on the bridge and stood there for a while, looking at her feet.

“Elissa, don’t look down,” Solona kept her voice quiet, since they still weren’t sure if there was anything dangerous nearby, but she was sure her voice would carry far enough for Elissa to hear her.

Elissa started slowly moving forward, still looking under her feet, and Solona gripped her staff tighter, biting her lower lip as she watched the other woman move. Elissa got to the middle of the bridge rather quickly, and Solona knew how difficult it was for Elissa, who preferred to stay away from heights if she could.

“Just a few more steps, you can do it,” Solona murmured, though she wasn’t sure who she was trying to comfort Elissa or herself. Maybe both of them. She was so close. Solona stepped closer to the edge and reached forward with one hand to catch Elissa if she needed it and offer her support.

Only then Elissa looked up, but as their eyes met, Solona knew something was wrong.

“Solona, step away from the bridge right now,” Elissa said, still looking at her, her voice quiet, but stern.

“What? Elissa, what are you…”

“Now!”

Everything happened quickly after that. A few planks cracked, Elissa took a few steps forward quickly, but one rope snapped under her weight, sending a couple of planks falling down the precipice, and Solona yelled.

“Elissa!”

The warrior was hanging on one rope with both hands, but Solona knew she had to do something, because while Elissa was strong, she wouldn’t be able to hold herself up for much longer.

She stepped closer to the edge, put her staff on the ground and while holding with one hand on the rocks that were sticking out, with the other she reached for Elissa.

“Catch my hand! Just a little bit closer…” Solona bit her lip, trying to reach as far as she could while still staying safe on the ground.

“I don’t…”

“Just a bit. You can do it. Don’t look down. Please. Just reach for my hand…”

Elissa groaned loudly as she let go with one hand and reached towards Solona, who caught her hand right away, her fingers wrapping securely around the warrior’s wrist.

“On three, you will let go of the rope and I will pull you up,” Solona said, clenching her teeth and breathing heavy. “Just catch the edge when you can. Please. It will be fine.”

“Solona, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t say anything, love,” Solona tried to smile, but it probably looked more like a grimace. The pull on her arm was becoming overwhelming, but when she saw tears running down Elissa’s face she knew she had to hold on. “I’m here. I’ll catch you I promise. But you have to do it now.”

Elissa’s breath was heavy as she looked at the rocky wall, then at the edge and finally at Solona. She nodded, and everything else happened so quickly that Solona realized what had happened only when they were both sprawled on the solid ground, trying to catch their breath.

After a while Solona felt Elissa shake against her and only then she realized the warrior was crying. She wrapped her arms around her lover right away, running her fingers through Elissa’s hair to calm her down.

“I’m so sorry, Solona. It’s all my fault,” Elissa said, her tears soaking the material of Solona’s robes. “If I hadn’t gone through that stupid tunnel we wouldn’t be here at all. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”

“It’s fine, love. Please, don’t think about it. Calm down,” she murmured back, hoping Elissa would listen to her.

“But it was all because of me. We should have never left the others to…”

“Don’t think about it anymore. We’ll get through this. We always do. It’ll be fine.”

“Because of me we both could have died here. I swore to protect you and I almost…”

“You do, Elissa. You’re always there for me,” Solona pressed a kiss to the warrior’s dark hair. “Let me be there for you, too. I can protect you, us as well. Don’t fear, my love. We will get out of here and join the rest soon.”

Solona wasn’t sure how long they stayed there on the ground, just taking comfort from each other’s presence, but as soon as they both calmed down, they decided to move on. They couldn’t stay in the tunnel for long after all. When they were walking again Elissa was even more determined to fight, to get them out, and there was no trace of the emotions she let herself show earlier. But she stayed close to Solona, kept making sure she followed her and from time to time kept catching her hand to keep her near, protect her.

It was a few hours and a few dozen killed darkspawn before they found a way out of the tunnel and a few more hours before they found Zevran and Sten, but they managed it. Solona never doubted them. She and Elissa worked well together and didn’t matter where would their mission lead them, they could face it. She was sure of it.


 
 
*Mood*: busybusy
 
 
 
Julie: Original ★ femslashragnarok_08 on February 24th, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
This fic was fantastic - nicely done!!
Megan Moonlight: heartmegan_moonlight on February 26th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)