Ok, now, I don't know if I should be doing this, because my character may turn out a little Mary-Sueish (even though I certainly hope that she doesn't) and Murtagh will most definitely be OOC. Any reviews would be much appreciated. If there are things that are far to out of character, I will try and fix them.

Disclaimer: I do not own Murtagh or the world of Alagaesia. That belongs to Christopher Paolini. I do own my character, Alethea.


The night was cold, but the battle had been much worse. Murtagh knew that there was an arrow sticking out of his arm from a lucky archer. He also knew that he didn't care much because he probably had a fever. No matter though, they were all dead…Their blood on his hands.

He wanted to cry, he really did; but he knew that it was impossible.

Taking in a deep breath of the cold air, he wondered where Thorn had gotten off too. Stumbling away from the bloody scene, he called out through their mind link.

Thorn! Thorn, where are you? Thorn!

Murtagh kept stumbling, trying to find a horse if his dragon would not come. But then he remembered that the horses were nearly a mile away. All of the same, he kept stumbling, and stumbled right over a rock. As he collapsed and he felt the fever beginning to take its toll, he thought the only thing that he could think,

DAMN IT! I can't stop! I have to keep going...keep going...



No matter how much he didn't want it to happen, he felt his eyes droop and he felt shivers creep up his spine. But then he heard something, something he didn't expect to hear: A soft crunch of ground, and feet treading on the land. He saw feet, and then saw no more.

A short time later, Murtagh awoke to a fire, and a woman, removing the arrow from his arm. Carefully, she broke the end and pulled it out. Murtagh restrained himself from screaming. He waited until she was going to bandage it to speak, but surprisingly, she didn't. She just placed her hand on his wound, and when she took it away, there wasn't one.

"Thank you…" he croaked.

"Oh, you're awake?" she asked. "I suppose I should have checked before removing the arrow. I apologize."

"There is no need," Murtagh replied. "You took it out didn't you?"

"Yes, I suppose." She dipped a rag into a pot that she had just taken off of the fire. Ringing it out, she bathed the place where the wound had been, removing the blood. "It must have been quite the battle," she remarked, cleaning the rest of him as well. "I smelt blood everywhere."

"Please don't," he begged. Another thing that he avoided doing.

"You should rest," she told him, looking off into the distance.

"Why don't you look me in the eye?" She smiled and complied. Murtagh saw for the first time the glazed over silvery blue orbs.

"Some don't like what they see."

"You're blind."

"Yes, and you still need you rest."

"But the arrow—how did you pull it out?"

"Very carefully, now sleep." Murtagh did feel himself grow tired as she said this, but he resisted.

"One more thing?"

"Yes?"

"What is your name?" she gave a calm smile.

"Alethea. Now hush and sleep."

Murtagh woke with tiny slithers of sun bathing his eyes. Slowly, he opened his eyes and sat up. Groaning, he ran his right hand through his hair. Wait, his right hand? Turning, Murtagh remembered how the woman, Alethea had removed the arrow from his arm the previous evening. But still no pain?

"Not even a scar," he muttered. Looking around, he tried to find his swords and his shirt but realized that they were no where to be found. Feeling a flush crawl over his skin, he realized that that woman had seen a good deal of his body. And she had bathed him no less! "Damn," he swore. This did not bode well. But then he remembered that she was blind.

Getting up, he exited the small the small covering of sticks. He saw that his coat, shirt, swords and sheaths were lying out to dry on a grassy bank. Alethea herself was in the stream bathing. Murtagh felt himself flush again, and was thankful that she had some covering on her private areas.

"Good morning!" he called.

"Good morning!" she replied. "I washed your things for you, I hope you don't mind."

"Not at all."

"Would you like to bathe?"

"Er, not really?" Alethea laughed.

"I can assure you that I won't look," she said. "And you probably need it." Murtagh got a wicked grin on his face.

"Are you saying, my lady, that I stink?"

"It's quite possible." Murtagh removed his boots before running full sped into the water. Alethea giggled as he tackled her. But then faster than a shot, she was out from underneath him and grabbing him from behind. Murtagh grabbed her sides and ticked her. "Stop that!" she commanded between giggles.

"Oh that?"

"Yes that!" Murtagh obeyed, but grabbed one of her feet instead. "Put me down!" Alethea commanded laughter on her voice.

"But you're the one that's holding on," Murtagh protested, even as he complied, laying her gently on the bank. Pulling himself onto it, he lay down next to her. There was silence, save their breath.

The utter quiet, the beauty of the entire forest. It didn't make sense. It was all unnatural, unbelievable. And yet, he was at peace in this place. Something that had not happened since he was a young child, before he could remember. It seemed wonderful, and yet wrong. The silence continued until Murtagh asked, "What is this place? Why do I act this way?"

"This is a haven," Alethea replied. "Reality isn't quite clear, and many men cannot resist its beauty. Many forget their strife of the outside world and choose to stay here. You are not one of them Murtagh, you saw past the illusion."

"I have to go, and yet I don't want to leave," he replied quietly.

"That is a choice that many are placed with when they are brought to one of these places," she told him softly. "I will not lie to you and tell you that everything will be all right after you leave, not for a while at least. Reality will crash back down on you and things will seem dull, and unworthy. But it all depends on whether you prefer perfection to true life."

Murtagh though on her words as they lay on the bank. He could stay here, and live happily for the rest of his days. But he couldn't ignore the call of the outside world. And what of Thorn? No doubt his cruel master would take his disappearance out on his dragon partner. And Murtagh couldn't let that happen, no matter how tempting perfection was. There was still a chance that he could do good in the outside world.

"I must leave," he said with a sigh. "I still have work to do." Alethea's silvery eyes sparkled.

"A wise choice, Murtagh."

"May I ask something of you though?" he inquired.

"Certainly.

"May I kiss you?"

"Of course."

Murtagh had never kissed a woman before, but as he gently brought his lips down on Alethea's soft pink ones, he knew that it would be all right. He held it for a moment before gently pulling away. Brushing back a lock of her hair behind her ear, he smiled gently.

Alethea's gently hands rose to his he temple and stroked his face. Her fingers glided gently over his skin, feeling, and knowing. "You're smiling," she said quietly as she traced his lips.

"Yes," he replied.

MURTAGH! They both turned to see the giant red dragon, Thorn, looming over them. I've been looking for you since last night and I find you mating with a blind woman? Murtagh scowled.

We weren't mating, Thorn!

Whatever makes you feel better little one. Where are we?

In something called a haven. I was just leaving. He stopped as he saw Alethea standing and moving toward her pile of clothing.

"It appears that we have upset your dragon friend," she said. Her clothing was strange, Murtagh noticed. She wore trousers tied down by bandages at her ankles, with a loose skirt tied off to the side. She wore a long sleeved blouse, going down to the bottom of her thumb and tied off at her wrists and the middle of her lower arms. Over which went a tunic, cut at the middle of her upper arm, and a sash tied around her waist. Most of the clothing was a shade of pale blue, reminding Murtagh of the color of her eyes. "You should dress, Murtagh."

"Oh, yes!" he replied, not realizing that he had been watching her dress. Quickly he pulled on his tunic, coat, sword and boots. He stopped for a moment, just to gaze at her one last time. Alethea smiled, in her knowing way and came over to him. She straitened his clothing, like a dutiful mother, all while smiling.

Murtagh smiled, not being able to help himself. Gently, he stroked her face as she had done to him moments ago. He didn't want to go; he didn't want to leave her. He wanted to stay with her forever. But why? What was it that made him want this?

"Alethea?"

"Yes, Murtagh?"

"I have one more thing to ask of you."

"Ask."

"Will you come away with me?" No more was said, but a soft,

"Yes." Murtagh kissed her soft lips and swung her into the air, all while she smiled.


First part of "What Is Blind." I really hope that this wasn't too bad, especially since I haven't written romance a whole heck of a lot and so it might not be all that good. Anyway, reviews are much appreciated, thanks!