Author: EmberFalcon PM
Anyalla Cousland has been captured and taken to Fort Drakon. Alistair is denied the change to go and save her, leaving him to wonder and wait and worry. When she returns, will all be well in the Arl's Estate...?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Alistair & Cousland - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,438 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 03-05-11 - Published: 02-04-11 - id: 6716504
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Okay, this one in particular is one that only recently popped into my head, while playing –another- playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins…when your Warden is captured before the Landsmeet, if Alistair isn't in your party, he does get upset if he's hardened, but it's mainly directed at Anora and less about showing concern for the said captured Warden. Provided he isn't part of the rescue party (if you send one at all) this is what I think would happen as he was waiting to hear news. Apologies if it's bad…
"Eamon! I may have done a terrible thing!" Alistair's stomach began to knot before he had even turned around to look at Anora as she burst into the room. He wasn't sure what unsettled him more: what she said and how she said it, or…
…or the fact that he couldn't sense the Taint anywhere near the estate…
…meaning that Anyalla was most definitely not with her…
"Barely met, and already she betrays us. She and my mother would get along famously." Morrigan's choice of words did little to ease his tension as he turned to face them. He had been in the Arl's study, discussing their next steps with Eamon in preparation for the Landsmeet when Anora, Morrigan, Wynne, and Beowulf the Mabari had come in through the door unannounced. He found his voice, and gave himself a mental pat on the back when it didn't sound nearly as nervous as he felt at the moment.
"What? What is it you might have done…exactly?" He swallowed the lump in his throat and waited for her to respond. 'Let's not get hasty,' he thought to himself. 'For all you know, she might have dropped a cheese knife, or let the guard dogs loose, or-'
"What in Andraste's name has happened? Are you alright?" Eamon asked, the nervousness in his voice apparent even to Morrigan, who for her part, seemed like she was resisting the urge to set the Queen of Ferelden on fire at the moment. Anora made what Alistair believed was the closest thing to an expression of concern that she's ever managed in the few times he has seen her in person.
"The Warden has been captured."
Suddenly setting her on fire wasn't such a bad idea.
Despite a small part of him nagging to use his Templar training to reign in the anger that his previous concern was fast turning into, never had he felt so enraged, worried, and terrified all at once. The thought that Anyalla was captured- and since the only prison in Denerim is Fort Drakon…Maker only knows what she's being put through…the very concept of her being harmed in any way made that nagging voice shut up almost instantaneously.
"And this may have been your fault? Maybe? Perhaps?" The sheer loathing, complete and unbridled rage in his words was enough to make even the ever politically stoic Anora take a step back in concern for her own safety. She put her hands up defensively, opening her mouth to say something, perhaps attempt and explain her way out of this, but thought better of it and said nothing. 'Smart move, Anora. The only one you've made today, it seems.' Any doubts he had of taking the throne left at the betrayal she displayed. If this is how she shows gratitude for being saved, he didn't want her to run a country, especially not after the Blight. 'Lest we get arrested for sodding saving the bloody country,' but those thoughts were distant, something catalogued to be brought up another time…preferably a time where Anyalla was curled safely in his arms and he didn't have to dwell on what might be happening to her. Eamon snapped him out of his reverie as he worriedly demanded how this happened. Anora simply shook her head in response, fueling Alistair's rage to near boiling point.
"Never mind that. The question is how to free her." Anora went on to say that getting in the tower would not be easy, and that it would be heavily guarded. As far as he was concerned, it was a triviality, an obstacle he would simply have to plow through to save her. And he would save her. Of that, he had no doubt. For once, he could be her savior, her knight in shining armor to pull her out of her darkest of times.
"Alright, then I'll take someone with me to bring her back," Alistair simply said, already doing a mental checklist of qualities their other group members had. He would need to bring a healer, and Wynne was the best equipped for that job, so-
"Eamon, you can't honestly expect me to sit here and do nothing while my fellow Warden is in a dungeon enduring Maker knows what and wait-"
"That is precisely what I am proposing, Alistair." Eamon walked over to his desk, leaning on it with both hands as he bowed his head in thought. "Loghain already has one of you, and thankfully the less important of the two of you," Alistair nearly exploded at the implication that Anyalla was some sort of…expendable commodity. Morrigan's rage match his own, a surprising comfort that he was not expecting to feel. "We cannot risk Loghain getting a hold of you as well. You're the heir to the throne, and he would show far less mercy on you if it meant he could continue to rule without fear of opposition." Alistair sputtered indignantly, but before he could protest, Zevran appeared out of the shadows.
"Then it is settled," Zevran said passively, though the dirty glare he shot briefly toward the Arl indicated that he had been there long enough to hear his insult to Anyalla. "Leliana and I will infiltrate the tower, and rescue the fair Warden." He casually slid his Crow dagger from its holster, inspecting the blade thoughtfully, a smirk slowly forming on his lips. "And should her captors object, well…fewer Loghain sympathizers are a bonus, no?" He slid the weapon back into its proper place with a definitive nod. "Leliana and I shall return shortly."
"You cannot possibly expect me to not-"
"Oh come now, Alistair. Would it not be better for you to be here for her comfort when she returns?" Though Zevran's words were meant to comfort, it did little to soothe his nerves. This was the love of his life they were talking about here! And they wanted him to do nothing? But he knew arguing was futile. The damned Antivan was far more agile than he, and if he really wanted to, could just knock him out and leave, and what good would that do? If anything, he just ran the risk of not being awake when she returned.
"As much as I dislike giving the Crow any false impressions that I am fond of him, I have to side with Zevran on this, Alistair," Morrigan noted thoughtfully. "You're…not exactly built for stealth, and this is clearly something that must be handled with finesse…a skill you lack. Severely."
"Damn you…" he grit his teeth but it was already too late: Zevran was already gone, presumably to collect Leliana before he went off to save Anyalla. His fists clenched, but he didn't have the will to punch anything. He felt…he felt…
"I know how you feel, my boy," Eamon's hand on his shoulder pulled him out of his thoughts. "When Connor and I were in the Fade, I was desperately searching for him. I could hear him, but I couldn't see him, no matter what I did." He patted his shoulder as a vague show of comfort before returning to his desk and taking a seat. "Go and get some rest, Alistair. You're going to need it." He numbly did as he was told, and walked to his room in the estate.
The room itself had changed little since the days when he was a young boy, ducking through the halls to avoid the Arlessa's ever scornful glare, before he was made to sleep in the stable with the Mabari war hounds of the castle. Were he not overwhelmed with the gripping fear of what she could be enduring and self-hatred for not rushing out the door and saving his dearest love, he would have appreciated the sentiment of Eamon preserving his memory a little more. Numbly, he unbuckled his armor one piece at a time slowly, and without looking at what he was doing. He was past the point of caring what happened to his armor or what was around him. Blankly, he stared ahead with dark and clouded eyes as he began to try and force his legs to carry him over to the bed. With every slow, dragging step, another piece of armor fell, and the more bereft his expression grew. By the time he had reached the soft mattress, he was suppressing the tears that clung to the edges of his eyes, but success was fleeting, especially when he thought of the last time he had touched that bed.
He had not been its only occupant.
"Alistair, are you alright?" He felt a hand that was not there ghost over his cheek, a thumb he could not see stroking it fondly. He had been upset at the time, but it was nothing compared to the complete and total breakdown that was threatening his entire being. Recalling his last conversation with her in this room was doing little to soothe his nerves, but he found himself physically responding the same way he had when she was with him, as she sat on the edge of the bed, he standing over her in little more than the brown pants and white loose shirt he wore now, nuzzling a hand that he could only remember. The tears he had been holding back now cascaded down his face as he silently trembled, but remembered his reply to her.
"No, my love…" had the situation not been what it was, he would have been surprised at the fact that he was actually responding according to his memory of the first night they slept here. "No, I'm not well at all…" the answer to her question had held a different meaning when she had asked him. His throat closed, so he simply let the memory replay, though his body insisted on reacting to a touch only remembered through a veil of remorse. 'I fear that I might not be a good king. I would never trust Anora to rule; that is out of the question. But I have begun to doubt myself as of late,' he lifted his head, looking where he remembered her sitting delicately upon the bed of his childhood, her other hand reaching up to hold his face in between them. 'I fear that I will make the same mistakes as Anora…or worse, Cailan, and not do enough for my country…' She had sighed, and he could have sworn he felt the light puff of air tousle his hair ever so slightly.
"Alistair, come here," his body obeyed, trembling with suppressed sobs as the memory of her guided him to the bed, where she had laid next to him, her fingers running through his hair in an effort to soothe him. "Anora believes that she is the only one who can solve the world's problems, so everyone should just stay out of her way. In that respect, she is no better than her father. I know I don't need to tell you that you're nothing like that shadow of a man." She had pulled his head down a little to press a gentle kiss to his forehead before returning it to her eye level. "And Cailan was a good man, but he never knew hardship, never knew what it was like to be dealt the short end of the stick in life. You do. And that is why you could never sit idly by and do nothing while others are suffering."
Hearing her assure him that he would never do what he is essentially doing to her, of all people, right this very moment, combined with her lingering scent upon the pillow beneath his head was too much for him. Helplessness enveloped him, and tightened its grasp until it forced his sobs to the surface. Softly, he wept, frustrated that there was nothing more he could do for his beloved than pray fervently to the Maker under his breath that she return to him safely, and that if He could do this for him, just this one thing for him, he would be her protector for the rest of his days, shield her from every hurtful thing in this world so that she might at long last know some happiness after her family was ripped from her on one treacherous night.
And just like that, the image of her lying there faded away.