"Andraste's flaming sword, I know where babies come from!" He flushes as he realises just how loud he's said this, and you fight hard to stifle your laughter. Wynne, clever old Wynne, comments on his pallor as you venture onwards, but your mind is already drifting back to a conversation shared by the fire a few weeks ago, before heady declarations of love and tender nights on a shared bedroll..
"So if you've never.. licked a lamp-post, so to speak, how would you make mini-Alistairs?" You've blurted out the question before your brain kicks in. Despite the closeness that you both sense between you, he still raises an eyebrow.
"N-no, I just meant.. y'know, if we ever needed some more Grey Wardens, I'm sure we could.." You pause, the images in your mind less than pure. ".. find a willing volunteer," you add lamely, and his grin fades, just a little.
"If I wanted kids, I'd get them the conventional way and pray, of course. Daft woman, what do lamp-post related behaviours have to do with newborns?" He stokes the fire, shaking his head and chuckling.
You stare, slack-jawed.
"Alistair.. what did you say?"
"What? Lamp-posts? I thought we were still using that analogy."
"N-no, I mean the bit about praying." He sits up, still smiling that damned smile.
"What, you don't know the story of how babies are created? Maker's breath, woman, surely everyone knows as muc- oh, am I assuming again? Is it your background?" His face drains as he realises he could be making a huge mistake, and you hide your face in your hands. "Oh, me and my big mouth. I'm sorry, really, I am. A-are you alright?" You're shaking now, and you cannot hold it in. Letting loose a long and loud laugh, tears stream down your face as you clutch your sides.
Alistair is in shock.
"W-wait a minute.. what's going on?!" It takes you a few minutes to calm down enough to explain, and by the time you have giggled your way through the act of procreation, his expression has changed from worry to pure shock and horror. One look and you're hysterical again, rolling around by the fire as he comes to terms with this new knowledge.
You come back from washing your face to find him hunched over by the fire, still sulking.
"You're a bad person. Go away." You almost start giggling again, but your heart reaches out to him - through no fault of his own, he was misled, and he had every right to be hurt and confused.
"Alistair, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have laughed. It's not your fault that you didn't know about.. lamp-posts and their vital role." He looks up imploringly at you, and you are almost moved to lean in and steal a kiss from his pouting lips. But you are still tentative. Settling for a kiss on the forehead, you sit down next to him, throwing another branch on the fire. You turn to him. His face is no longer despondant. He has a strange look in his eyes.
"Did you.. really mean.."
"What?" Your brief train of thought is pushed out of the way as Alistair suddenly leans in to capture your lips with his.
You can still hear Alistair grumbling behind you about Wynne. The smile has slipped from your face now, though. Stolen moments, you think - that's all you have. Even if, by some blessed miracle, you both live to see a future without darkspawn, such daring dreams as a family together are still just that - dreams. You've never been one for wanting such a life, but now that you have such a fantastic man in your life, there is a pang for a life never destined to be.
A hand rests on your shoulder.
"You alright?" he asks.
"Fine," you reply. "Just thinking about lamp-posts." You can't help but chuckle as his face flushes again, that damned smile charming your heart once more.