Published: April 28, 2015
“So if I pull on some of the Fade strings enough, I might be able to create something out of the ethereal energy,,” Saelyn said, half to herself, eyes glowing as she rambled on about her favorite subject. “Maybe like a boulder or something.”
Blackwall only smiled. He didn't understand why she chose him of all people to come and discuss her magical with at the end of the day, but he was glad for the company even if half the words out of her mouth made no sense. It was enough to see her happy and to hear her voice. He continued to whittle away at the wood carving in his hands. It was supposed to be a griffon but it was starting to look more deer-like.
“I'm sorry, I must be boring you,” she said, looking at him embarrassedly.
He shook his head. She was cute when she blushed. “No, it's fine. The company's always welcome.”
“Still, this is probably something I should be talking about with Dorian or Solas.”
“You and Solas are pretty close, aren't you?” Blackwall hadn't meant for that to come out, and it sounded a bit more accusatory than he would have liked.
“He is the most knowledgeable person I know about magic,” Saelyn replied. “Most of my training came from Keeper Istimaethoriel but there's only so much elven lore out there- it's good to have differing points of view. And he's a good friend.”
Friend. She was good friend to Blackwall too. The flirting probably didn't mean anything; she seemed to flirt with Dorian and Iron Bull just as much. Which was perfectly fine. Still, he couldn't help but ask, “So this word you have for each other. Lethlander. That means 'friend'?”
“Lethallin,” she corrected. “Yes, but not exactly friend. More like 'good friend'? 'Special friend'. Someone kind of like a sibling in a way.”
“Ah,” he said, almost as if relieved. Not that he was. “So if I were elven you’d probably call me that too, right? Letha-leen.”
A mischievous smile played on her lips and she got that glint in her eye that spelled trouble. “No. I think for you, it'd be 'vhenan.'”
He hadn't heard that word before. “What does that mean?”
“I think I hear Leliana calling me,” she abruptly stood. “I should go see if there's any trouble with camp things.” She gave him a soft smile before she left, a smile that stirred his heart and warmed his blood. He watched her as she walked off and disappeared behind his cart, missing her already.
Then he realized he never got his answer.
The next morning was full of the usual packing up of the camping equipment and grounds, burying pit fires and making sure things were ready. As usual, Saelyn was in the brunt of it, giving orders as she went. Blackwall admired how quickly she assumed a leadership role during this time; in Haven she mostly kept to herself and the Inner Circle. Now, it wasn’t as if he was seeing a completely different person, but a side of her that only came out when they were battling Fade rifts. She was a remarkable woman and his heart stirred every time he saw her.
But being busy meant he still couldn’t ask her about that word she used to describe him last night. He was going to have to ask someone else.
“Elven?” Solas chuckled softly at Blackwall's request. “I do not mind answering questions. What has our Herald said to you?”
“It's mostly a word. 'vhenan'. She said she'd call me that in elven. What's it mean?'
“Ah.” Solas gave him a measuring look. The intensity made Blackwall squirm inside a bit, as though Solas were disapproving of something. “I would say congratulations are in order."
"Surely you know.”
Maker's balls, between Saelyn, Dorian, and now Solas, Blackwall wished someone would talk straight with him for once. "I wouldn't be asking if I knew," he said, patience wearing thin.
Solas merely blinked at him. "Ah, my apologies. I thought you would be aware at the state of your relationship, considering." Solas placed his hands behind his back, the usual gesture he made when about to make some sort of lecture. “‘Vhenan’ is a term of endearment, normally used among lovers. I believe the human equivalent is ‘heart’, though it is much more than that.”
Blackwall could only stare dumbfounded at him. No. She couldn’t mean it.
“Is she serious?” he asked, dreading and hoping at the same time.
“That I cannot say. You must ask her yourself. Now, if that is all, I have other matters to attend to.” Solas turned back to his wagon, ending the conversation.
Blackwall headed back to his wagon in a daze. Saelyn was good at teasing and flirting; she and Dorian seemed to thrive on that kind of innuendo. But this?
Part of him wanted to hope, wanted to believe she was serious. And after some of the looks she gave him, the ones that stirred his blood and made him want to fiercely protect her even more, he had allowed himself to dream that it possibly could have been true. He cared deeply for her, more deeply than he was willing to admit to himself sometimes, and there had been times when he was sorely tempted to kiss her.
But no. It couldn’t be. Even if it were true, if she learned who he really was… What he really was…
He wouldn’t be able to recover from that. It was best not to hope and not to encourage her. If she truly cared about him that way, he was going to have to end it.
Before he was too tempted to continue further.