|Origins Written in Blood
Author: shutterbones PM
Some things were best left forgotten, while some should have never been remembered. I remember slipping, falling. Blood. Andraste help me, I was being devoured by the Fade itself, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to fight it anymore... BloodMage/CullenRated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Horror - Surana & Cullen - Chapters: 52 - Words: 131,805 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 12-24-12 - Published: 06-02-10 - id: 6020383
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Isthalla, get up!" I begged, my voice betraying my fear. Her body remained cold and motionless between the cracked stone of the floor where he had attacked her. I turned my eyes back to the thing, this abomination I'd sworn not to believe. I sucked in a sharp breath.
"Alistair, it's me-" I tried. He was advancing on me quick, sword brandished securely in his grip. I found myself frozen to my spot, unable to think or conjure anything in my defense as I stared into his empty, white eyes.
No, why are you doing this?
Since when was I petrified by the sight of such a witless man? I watched Wynne step into the fight now, her staff raised as she shot an electric bolt just shy of his heel, drawing him off like an angry mongrel beast frothing at the mouth. I remember what Isthalla had told me of abominations, but I hadn't believed her. Not until I saw the life leave his eyes and the hate of his fist crush her body.
What magic is this that turns you against her?
I wanted nothing to do with this darkness. But I could not stand idly by and watch him tear the others apart. But-
You can't hurt him..
The bumbling, stupid, witless oaf of a man had done more than his fair share of stupid things in the past, but - he did not deserve to die. It was now I felt the sting of empathy over how Isthalla must have felt, and was feeling… if she felt anything at all now.
I looked to her crumpled body still lying on the stone floor. She hadn't budged, hadn't flickered any sign of response to the rest of the world. Frustration began to tug at my mind. I turned my attention back to Wynne, who was no mage for attack spells. She was suffering badly in her same attempts to keep from hurting him, dodging and ducking every swing he could give. I saw him land a clear fist across her shoulder as she yelped and went to the ground as well.
Anger snapped into my fists as I turned to Alistair and reacted on instinct - my hands drawn out with a red glow as I shut my eyes and begged for forgiveness.
"I'm sorry-" I said before releasing the lightning spell and knocking him clean to the ground, unconscious. I rushed over to Wynne who, for an old witch, was fairly tough. She groaned and sat up, her hand on my shoulder.
"You must get me to Isthalla, hurry," she coughed. I helped the old woman to her feet, carefully, and picked my way over to where Isthalla lay. I dropped to my knees.
"Alistair, what have you done," I whispered to myself while tracing empty, shaking hands over her body. Wynne knelt down beside me and touched a hand to Isthalla's neck.
"We must work quickly," she murmured while moving her hands over Isthalla's chest and beginning to work over her healing magic. "Please, fetch her satchel from the doorway. There should be a flask of poultice to help." I deafly nodded and stood to my feet, jogging over to snatch up the bag and returning to her side.
"I fear I may not be able to pull her from recovery," she said in a grave, quiet tone. I felt panic creep into my chest as she continued to rhythmically work her hands over Isthalla, aglow with a faint green light of magic. Her brow knitted together. "Please, pull the flask from the satchel."
I obeyed and quickly fished my hand through the pack until it found the shape of a glass bottle and pulled it out. The red liquid within was scarce. I looked at her, worried.
"Bring the bottle to her lips; lift her head," she instructed. I did so, my breath hitching in my throat as I eased the flask towards her and let the red contents slip down her throat. Wynne reached out a hand and placed it back on her neck once more, pausing, hesitant, then slumped into her shoulders with a deep sigh.
"She will live…" she said, relieved. I felt a great weight pulled from my chest as well. I shut my eyes.
"Did you hurt him too terribly?" she asked. My eyes flew open as I followed her attention to where Alistair's body lay motionless across the corridor. I grimaced.
"I don't believe so.." I answered, though my words sounded doubtful. A look of concern crossed between us as she labored to stand again.
"Wait-" I said, putting a supporting hand to her shoulder. "I may not be the best, but my mother taught me a few things regarding healing-" I paused and pressed my palm against her shoulder, watching the faint glow of green surround it. The woman gasped, just slight, then pulled herself away from my hand with a shudder.
"Thank you," she breathed, working out the stiffness from her shoulder. I nodded.
We took careful steps over to where Alistair lay. I put my hands on my hips.
"Is there any way to tell if he's-?" I paused, unsure of what to say. Wynne looked at me, concern flickering in her eyes before glancing back down at him. She shook her head.
"No, I'm afraid there is not," she said. "Not until he wakes."
"I had hoped as much.." I responded dully with a weary sigh. I took a crouched seat beside him, hands in my lap and mouth pressed together.
"You've done all that you can," she reassured me, though the words felt empty. I hadn't done everything. I had failed to do anything, in fact, and now I had nearly killed both Isthalla and-
"He will be okay," she squeezed my shoulder as if reading my thoughts. My eyes flickered to her, then resumed their post watching over Alistair. I did not know what it was like to be possessed by a demon; I imagine it wasn't a fantastic experience…
I silently hoped he wasn't in pain.
"We can only hope Isthalla wakes before him," Wynne added as she took a seat across from me on a broken chunk of pillar, attempting to work out the soreness in her bruised leg where she'd fallen. She winced. "She's quite gifted with this sort of magic-"
"You mean to say possession?" I asked, surprised.
She never mentioned that..
Wynne shook her head, her voice on the bare fringe of a dry laugh. "Maker, no," she said. "However, I do know her to have touched in the fields of memory charms. She would have a better chance at bringing him back from whatever prison the demon has him in." I didn't quite like the sound of prison when referring to his state. I turned worried eyes back to Alistair, my hand briefly touching his shoulder.
I'm so sorry…
I should have been more careful.
"Fool of a man.." I murmured, resting my hand on his chest. A sudden gasp erupted from him then, and I jerked my hand away in fear as I saw him jerk back to life.
"Stand back-" Wynne warned, but it was too late. His eyes jumped open and found me sitting beside him. I held my breath. Hazel eyes.
Warm, living, breathing eyes.
"Morrigan?" he murmured. His voice was hoarse and thick, as if he'd been screaming. I felt a jolt in my chest at the sound, the way he spoke that made me twinge with regret and guilt. My expression crumpled.
"'Tis me…" I responded quietly, my hand replacing itself back on his shoulder. He seemed confused, then pained as he looked at me with wide eyes.
"I-Isthalla-" he groaned, his eyes frantically searching my face for answers. I pressed my lips taut together, unwilling to tell him. Not wanting to.
Did he know?
I couldn't bring myself to tell him. Instead, he pushed my hand away and forced himself to sit up. I saw his expression wince from pain, and tried to offer a hand to help. He shoved me away, stumbling to his feet and over to where Isthalla still lay. I wasn't sure why, but I felt so suddenly wounded by his indifference. I quietly pulled my hand back to my chest and watched him stumble his way over to where Isthalla was.
"Isthalla?" he croaked out, placing his hand over her own. Another prickling feeling in my chest that I quickly shoved away. He couldn't know; he didn't care.
You stupid oaf.
I stood promptly to my feet, brushed off my front, and stepped over to him.
"Seems a demon saw fit to possess your body and attack us," I offered in a flat voice. He didn't look as shocked as I'd hoped for. Instead, he glanced once to me and looked back at her.
"I know-" he murmured. "I had to watch."
I felt the knot of words constrict in my throat. So he had seen…
Yet your concern is over only one of us..
I resigned myself to stand off to the side as he continued to watch over Isthalla, briefly letting his thumb brush over her palm. Since when did he care?
Only moments ago he considered the woman too vile to actually care about anyone. I felt a stinging jealousy over his hypocritical behavior. I only vainly hoped Isthalla would wake up in time to slap him hard across the face for touching her. The thought brought a secret satisfaction to my mind I couldn't help but eagerly indulge in whilst he busied himself with fawning over the fallen leader.
I wanted to feel bitter towards her, but I could not bring myself to do it. A rift stood between myself and the two, a great wall separating miles between us despite that only a few feet physically kept me away. My mind had suddenly shifted from the fact that I hated this man with every fiber of my being to an unwanted jealousy of his abrupt and sudden change of heart towards her.
Who am I to stand in the way?
"Isthalla, please," he begged, now brimming on tears of all things! I was beginning to wonder if the man wasn't still possessed. This certainly wasn't the Alistair I'd argued with naught but a half-hour earlier. He began to knead at the fabric of her robes, trying to will her awake. His begging became frantic, until I heard an audible hitch in his throat.
"Wake up, please-" he whispered into her hand. And as if the words were a magical phrase for inducing someone out of a coma, her eyes fluttered open and she took in a thick, ragged breath.
I stood to attention, as did Wynne as we waited to see her make her way out of the fog of her mind and back to the waking world. She shut her eyes briefly, then reopened them to make out the faces around her. I knelt down beside Alistair, my eyes watching her for signs of possession.
"Thank the Maker," Alistair breathed. I shot him an irritable look, which he ignored, and turned my gaze back to Isthalla. She still looked a bit confused.
"Alistair?" she said, though she sounded like she was simply trying to find her voice again rather than make sure it was not some other stupid oaf sitting beside her still cradling her hand like an idiot.
As if she read my thoughts, she connected her eyes to his hands, which cradled her own like a prized possession. She lightly tugged it away, pulling it back to her chest in slight horror and used it to push herself into a seated position. Alistair tended to her every move, even going as far to help her stand up. Wynne said nothing, despite the obvious danger of her moving so quickly after having her entire body slammed into a stone floor. She wobbled and fell against Alistair, who instead of bristling - seemed to completely melt into her posture and slid his arm under her arms, hoisting her up against his chest.
The same, prickling nag tore at my chest, making my stomach clench and heart skip a beat. What nonsense.
This was quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I had ever witnessed. Pulling my lips into a frown, I stood to my feet as well and followed suit after the two "lovebirds". Wynne decidedly took up the banner of walking alongside me, some five feet behind Alistair and Isthalla.
"Quite the sight, isn't it?" she chuckled under her breath. I crossed my arms and sneered.
"If you like horrific, twisted images - then I suppose," I bit back a bit too defensively. Wynne perked a brow at me.
"And why is that?" she tested. I knew that tone well. The delving, let-me-analyze-your-every-thought tone that she used on Isthalla very often. I wasn't going to fall for the old woman's tricks. I was grateful for her help, but she wasn't going to pry any dark, deep secrets out of me any time soon.
"Nevermind," I waved her off, quickening my pace to step up beside Isthalla. Alistair looked a little offset by my interruption, which I quickly combated with a glare and gesture for him to move.
"I've had quite enough of this nonsense," I snapped while waving him off. He hesitated moving then, glancing at Isthalla, reluctantly released her and stepped away. I shot him one last glare for effect. "We won't get anywhere at this rate," I huffed while helping Isthalla over to a nearby chunk of rubble to sit on.
"Wynne, do we have any more poultice?" I craned my neck to look over my shoulder. She blinked in surprise.
"No, I don't-"
"Nevermind, I'll have to do this the way mother taught me, then," I hushed her, turning back to Isthalla. She seemed a bit more aware of her environment now, and offered a concerned scowl down at me. I glanced at her.
"This might hurt a little," I warned briefly before taking her ankle against the flat of my palm and grappled in the other, then giving it a good twist. An audible snap followed.
"Wh-AUGH!" she shrieked, instantly jerking forward and grabbing her leg after the bone was popped back into place. She shot me a violent look before tending back to her ankle. I stood and brushed my trousers off.
"Well then, shall we move on?" I offered.