Title: Regarding a Dragon

Pairing: George x Alanna

Rating: PG13 -- A little angsty

Setting: After Alanna's fourth book, sometime later.

Summary: Drabble -- Alanna thinks back on her relationship with Liam and her responsibility for his death.

Alanna rolled out of bed quietly, her recent husband still sleeping off the ale. They had been married the night before, in a small quiet ceremony privy only to close friends. The larger 'public', and sadly more stressful, wedding would occur in two days, as Jonathan had made it very clear to her that the king's champion being wed was a time of public celebration.

She exhaled into the cold air as she stretched, making her way to the courtyard. The sea air tossed her hair, which was a little past her ears. It was longer than she normally liked to keep it, but she'd seen the pleading in Thayet's eyes when she'd wanted to cut it before the wedding.

As she went through her stretches, she thought it over with a lazy smile on her face. Her arm hurt her, from where she'd been wounded in the Tusaine war, but other than that, she felt like a new woman.

She loved being in love, she realized. Alanna had never thought how deep this… feeling could go. She had loved Jonathan, she admitted, and even Liam, but she'd loved them in a completely different way from the way she felt about George.

Oh Liam, she thought to herself as she went through her kicks and punches first. He was right: she had blamed herself for his death. Perhaps she still did, though she liked to pretend she didn't. She was the Lioness – known throughout the realm. She could 'get over' something if she wanted to.

She did two extra sets on her left leg, muttering in her head. Tears of frustration rolled down her cheeks in the cool morning air. She had thought that the months past had let those wounds settle. But perhaps she'd been too quick to judge, as she usually was with matters of the heart.

Alanna had never really let it all go. She'd let a lot of it, but with so few men having shared her bed, and her heart, it was painful. She could look at Jon and see he was happy with his life. That helped. And she had George. But Liam… She sighed and hunched over, panting partially from her work, and partially from her emotions. There was something about him she couldn't forget.

George, he accepted all of her. The unladylike swearing, the breeches, the dresses, everything. He did not mind if she spent all her time in the company of men or if she decided she wanted to wear a dress because she felt like it. Liam had never accepted her, she thought viciously as she unsheathed her sword. Why should she continue to miss him?

Going through the steps slowly at first, she sped up, her anger and despair over Liam disappating with each stroke and parry that she made. When she was finished, the sun was peeking over the ocean, shafts of light dancing from her sword as she fell on her knees. Sweat dripped from her forehead into her eyes. She blinked it away, closing them as she exhaled sharply.

In such a state, she didn't hear George approach. Alanna didn't have time to react as he scooped her small frame into his arms, the sword clattering to the stone of the courtyard with a bleating cry. She cried in his shoulder, muttering things he couldn't understand. He didn't need to, of course.

He knew they all had their demons, he had a fair share of them himself. As it was, George felt no jealousy towards Jon or Liam. She had come to him, not them. But he knew Alanna would be hard-pressed to let them go so easily. She put so much of herself into everything she did, George knew that a piece of her was still with Liam and Jon that he would never obtain.

The thief was happy with that. He would take her as she was, noble, Lioness, a magic using warrior – she was his. And George Cooper was never one to complain about what life dealt him.

A/N: Little drabble, getting some G/A groove on. I miss Liam. :( I don't think him and Alanna would've been good lovers, but he was a great character. So a little tribute to his charrie, and some G/A love.