A/N: An old piece I never got around to putting up.


She is laughing and cheering when he walks into the royal chambers. It is their first return to Denerim's most respected healer and advisor to the queen, but Wynne greets him with a smile that feels like he has never been away. Beside her, Oghren already looks like he has been drinking, but it was difficult to tell, reasons Alistair. The dwarf looked perpetually drunk. Grinning back, he casts his gaze on the curious cheer that had erupted in his beloved.
"What's the occasion?" She turns on him, tears in her eyes but a broad smile plastered across her face. He is struck by the fact that she is out of armour for the first time in a while, choosing instead a loose tunic and tight trousers.
"Oh, Alistair, it's brilliant.. we're going to be parents!" The words fly straight over his head, circling around before slamming into his face. His smile is suddenly replaced by a strange blankness.
"Well that's.. wait.. w-what?" She takes his hand and holds it to her stomach.
"In here is a little child, just waiting to come and say hello." She smiles up at him, and he stares at where his hand is now placed. A child.. a child of his own.. he never even dreamed..
"O-oh.. that's.. that's.. wow.." Very much speechless for the first time since they defeated the archdemon, he kneels before her, almost in pious prayer at the life that sleeps within her. "A child.."
"I've never even wanted a child," she babbles. "Life in the Alienage.. well, it wasn't great, and I never even thought that bringing a new life into it was an option, it just wasn't fair. But with you.. with you it's different." He looks up at her, a tear escaping down his cheek, and he suddenly stands and sweeps her into a tight embrace, grinning into her hair.
"Our child will never want for anything," he promises, kissing her neck. She laughs, a real burst of joy, and he spins her around, finally grinning. Wynne is smiling in the corner, and Oghren is cackling beside her, proposing a toast to all that is great and wonderful.

He remembers that moment now. Things could be the same, but for Wynne's face marked with sorrow, and Oghren's white knuckles wrapped around her hands. Looking down at the mess of red hair and pale skin and tears in his arms, he cannot help but be struck by just how unfair the whole situation ended up being. They knew it would be difficult, a child of the Taint, but if they had known..
The red blotch of flesh lies on the sheets, malformed and bloody and black. Once a source of joy in their hectic lives, the thing now represents every disappointment that will ever plague them. He wants to curse it, the leech, the demon within that almost drained his beloved dry, but.. but it is still a part of him, and of her, and he cannot hate it just yet. Drawing her closer, he kisses her crown and lifts her off the bed, taking her away from the mistake that almost killed her.
Tears finally come, then, silently running down his face for the loss of sons never given a chance, for daughters never to be spoiled. For the end of the dream of a normal life inbetween the obligations of the Grey Wardens. Oghren had told him not to hope for too much.
And all the while, the silence is only ever broken by the agonising sobs that wrack her frail form.