By the will of a very kind person, I was able to rescue my writings off of my (now) defunct laptop. Yay! Since this piece has been sitting on it complete for weeks, and just needed a polishing and beta, it's the one that you all get first :-)
Title: Sacrificial Lamb
Characters: Alistair/Morrigan (references to Zevran/Fem!City-Elf PC (Kallian Tabris) and Alistair/PC)
Word Count: ~3300
Rating: M (NSFW)
Summary: Alistair has been convinced to accept Morrigan's deal.
Spoilers: Through end game, kind of. I guess.
Author's Note: This is a companion piece to my fic I Am Not Yours, although it can be read as a stand alone. All you really need to know is that Tabris spent the night with Zevran and Isabela once, and confessed that information to Alistair in order to convince him to lay with Morrigan. (Tangled webs and all). This is probably a bit more smut-like then that one, actually, without being complete smut. The angsty, hateful kind (It's Alistair and Morrigan, how could it be anything else?). Many, many thanks to pennydreadful for the beta!!! Oh! And brownie points (but no actual brownies) for those who catch the Whedon reference. It's not hard :-P
Warnings: Did I mention the angst? I did? Good. There's lots of it. Not too pleasant. Please be warned.
Alistair wondered if this was what it would feel like to walk into the Deep Roads when his time came. Would his heart thunder in his chest, pumping blood erratically through veins that suddenly felt too small to handle all of that pressure? Would the pounding be only equaled by the ache in his soul? He never wanted to think about what it would be like for him, but now, stepping up to the threshold of Morrigan's room, he could not help but wonder: is this what it feels like to walk to your death?
Oh, he knew that this retched act was being done to avoid death - his own, and hers. But at what cost? There was sense in it – that was for certain. They had been lucky to have made it this far. But it was hubris to think that they could not be killed. That Riordan would not fall. That one of them would not need to deliver the death blow. Regardless, this – this act, as foul and loathsome as it was, was an assurance that the Blight would end, whether or not a Warden was around to deliver that final blow.
But at what cost?
He had tried to argue with her. With Kallian. Had tried to play the part of the optimistic care-free solider that he always had. Knowing that King or not, he would not allow her to deliver that blow, should it come to that. And she knew it. He could see it in her eyes; see that she knew he wouldn't allow her to die. Couldn't allow her to die.
Something inside of her had hardened at that moment. It frightened him, watching the change come over her. She had gone from the concerned, loving woman that he liked to believe he alone was privileged enough to see, into the harsh practical commander that the world saw.
And she had confessed. Confessed about her night with Zevran…and Isabela. And he could see other truths peeking out from behind her words. Truths that she did not give life to, but which he knew existed all the same. And as he felt his heart beginning to crack, she'd spoken of pragmatism and duty. Willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. 'And isn't that why we are here, Alistair? Why we have gone through...all of this? We've come so far, and we cannot let something like death stop us from achieving our goal.'
And damn her, she was right. Still, the knowledge that she had done...that with Zevran and that...that pirate…It made his stomach roll. He knew if he thought on it too long he would become ill. But beyond that sickly feeling, he could feel the anger bubbling up. Anger that she had lied to him. Betrayed him. And yes, even manipulated him. The many members of their party may have thought him thick, but Kallian...Kallian he knew well. He knew how easily she could twist things to her will. It was just that, well, normally...he didn't mind so much.
This time it appeared he did.
Even so, he raised a fist and pounded, once, upon the door.
"Said the spider to the fly…" Alistair mumbled beneath his breath, and pushed open the door. Morrigan was standing just a few feet ahead, the large ornately carved bed framing her in the background. She looked devilish and conniving, and all together just...bad. And wrong. Wrong and bad. He had never wanted to be less alone with a woman. He shivered and sucked in a deep breath, and came up coughing. Morrigan tittered at him as he struggled to close the door with the hand not bunched in a fist at his mouth.
A second, horrid inhale and he determined that it was the scent of incense cloying at the air, making it difficult to breathe.
"What is that awful stench?" Alistair's lip curled up, "Ode de Wilds?"
Morrigan released a long suffering sigh (a sound that Alistair had become well acquainted with during their travels), "No, you simpleton. It is a form of…stimulant."
Despite himself, he laughed. "Afraid that your charms wouldn't be sufficient, huh, Morrigan? Not as confidant as you like to pretend after all." And he felt some bitter satisfaction at the surprised look on her face, brief though it might have been.
That satisfaction was snuffed out abruptly as she crossed the room and put out the incense. Her brow lifted in challenge. "Have it your way then."
He walked further into the room, but stopped a good distance from her. "I think I can safely say that none of this is even remotely similar to my way, Morrigan."
"Enough chatter. I am in no mood to listen to what you mistake for wit."
"Aww, and here I thought we were getting along so well." Outwardly, he smirked – inside, however, was an entirely different story.
She glowered at him, and crossed her arms. Her foot began to tap impatiently. "Do you intend to stand there all night? I for one would like to be done with this as soon as possible."
He watched as she smiled, and there was nothing at all sweet or innocent about that mouth. No, it wore a deadly, hateful expression. She turned from him then, and walked past him towards the door, her robe dropping from her as she did. His breath caught in his throat at the sight, and he turned quickly before she could see the heat suffusing his face. Morrigan was undeniably many things: evil and beautiful rising to the top of the list. But the sight before him was nearly as awful. The large, practically cavernous bed was sitting there, mocking him with its constant presence. From several feet behind him he heard the heavy click of the lock on the door, followed by her lilting tones, "'twill be easier to proceed if you disrobe, Alistair."
He swallowed past the lump in his throat, knowing that any choices that remained to him were quickly evaporating. "Must I? Really?"
"Would you prefer that I do it for you?" Then he felt them; her hands, tickling along his back, from his breeches up towards his shoulders, and he flinched. He wished that the nervousness he was feeling hadn't chosen to make itself known to her, but he was helpless to the onslaught.
"No! No, that's…that's not necessary. I can do it." He took a deep breath, buying himself no more than another moment, "I'll - I'll just get right on that." With trembling fingers, he tugged his shirt up and out of his trousers, and pulled it over his head. He fumbled for a moment, unsure of where to put it, when the decision – along with his shirt – was taken from his hands. He chanced a glance behind him, and saw her folding the shirt over a nearby chair. Content, it seemed, to let him suffer through the undressing portion of the evening. She was naked save for two indecent strips of cloth located strategically across her anatomy. He turned lest she feel his eyes on her, and began undoing the laces of his breeches, before thinking better of it and removing his shoes first.
The last thing he needed was to fall over on his face tripping on his shoes.
His shoulders slumped several moments later, when he was finally down to just his smallclothes. Alistair heaved a deep breath; this was in no way close to how he had envisioned spending this night. His heart ached, beating a rapid, uneven tattoo against his chest. How could she have asked him to do this? She knew he wanted no one but her. But she expects you to marry Anora too, doesn't she? To produce an…an heir. And she slept with – Here his mind snapped shut. No, no he could not think of it. If he thought of Kallian, tangled up with Zevran – thought of her breathy, lustful moans being released into his ear; if he dared to envision them wrapped around the pirate captain...together...surely, surely, he would go mad. And what use would he be to Ferelden as a mad, love-sore and tainted King?
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Morrigan lean against the bedpost, a thoughtful look upon her face. She gestured – blessedly without speaking – for him to climb onto the bed. And sweet Andraste, he did.
He watched, his body a tightly controlled ball of nerves, as she followed his path onto the bed. Distantly, he felt her hand press against his chest, just above his heart. Felt the breath rush out of him as she leaned passed him to blow out the nearest candle, leaving them bathed in the flickering firelight from across the room. He closed his eyes as she moved her body over him, straddling his hips. Trapping him.
"This needn't be as unpleasant as you seem to think."
His eyes snapped open, looking incredulously into her cold, golden ones. "You're mistaken, Morrigan. I don't think this will be unpleasant."
She arched a brow, clearly surprised. "No?"
"No. I know that this will be, without a doubt, the single most horrific thing I will ever be forced to endure in my life. And that really is saying something, believe me."
Her voice lost all traces of good-humor, "If you cannot bed another woman to save your own life, how do you ever intend to produce an heir with the Good Queen, hmm? And, 'tis not as if your love," the word was spoken with such disdain as she gazed at him, that it gave Alistair pause, "has not…enjoyed the company of others, besides your kingly self; even since first bedding you, in fact."
He felt his blood run cold. The only heat he could feel in that moment came exclusively from where her fingernails dug in a cat-like fashion into the skin of his chest. "How do you-"
"Come now, Alistair. You do not really think that anyone didn't know of their activities, did you?"
He willed himself not to react, not to explode in anger, or rage, or pain – he would not show her any such weakness. Not if he could help it. It was a difficult task, however. Had it truly been more than the one time? Had she lied to him about that as well? Well, you fool, why wouldn't she? Given how you reacted to the news of just the once? But then, why-
He snapped back to himself at the press of Morrigan's hips into his own. He was suddenly very acutely aware of the meager scraps of cloth separating them. By the expression on her face, one of a hawk closing in on a tasty morsel, he knew that had been her intention. And if his body's treacherous reaction to the warmth that she exuded was anything to go by, she was winning.
Her fingers traced a hot path down his abdomen, tracing the curve of each muscle as they went, the traitorous things jumping at each subtle stoke. She leaned closer still, impossibly close, so that their noses were nearly touching.
"Is she with him tonight, I wonder?" And she laughed a brittle, pitying laugh, when his eye twitched in response. He fisted the covers beneath him to keep himself from throttling her.
"No." And Maker damn it all, but she moved again. Angling her body over his in a mockery of affection, hands splayed across his sides, as she continued to tease with lingering movements. "'Tis not hard to understand why she would seek his…attentions. They are so similar after all. How often, do you suppose, would she climb still warm from your bed, and into his?"
The words were a deep growl. "Shut up."
"No." And again, her hips rocked against him. Once. Twice. It took all of his (quite considerable) training to restrain himself in that moment. The fact that he wasn't certain whether he wished to throw her forcibly from him, or pull her down fully onto him was maddening.
"Or – as is perhaps more likely – would she climb, spent and satisfied from his sheets, and stumble into yours? Surely, he was able to…" her voice was filled with vicious venom, "satisfy her needs more completely than a Chantry boy such as you ever could."
Rage such as he had never felt before built up like a storm inside of him. When he spoke, he did not recognize the sound of his own voice.
"Shut. Up." He could feel his fingers twitching by his sides.
"No." When she opened her mouth to speak again, he felt something inside of him snap. With a snarl he lunged at her, a curdling pool of hatred and disgust propelling him forward. One large, battle-worn hand wrapped around her surprisingly thin throat, and he tossed her to the side of him, silencing whatever wicked barb she had been preparing to unleash. His mind and body seemed to disconnect at that moment, and he found himself pressing her down, down into the bed. The skin of his overheated body feeling suddenly too tight wherever it came into direct contact with hers.
Her mouth shaped into a little 'O' of surprise when the evidence of his arousal rocked into her. No longer in complete control of his body, which was screaming at him to move damn it. Proclaiming loudly that there was a warm, welcoming body spread out before him – under him – and that there was no more reason to wait. He pressed more firmly against her, one hand grasping at her hip, the other still loosely at her throat in warning. He felt a twisted sense of satisfaction when a low hum of approval issued forth from her, and one long, lean leg wrapped around his own hips, tugging him closer.
Alistair's head fell to her throat, the aching need in his body shutting out whatever voices of reason he may have still had left. He began licking and biting at the skin he could reach; the taste of her surprisingly salty and sweet. His hands darted across her body of their own accord, tugging at the garments she still wore; kneading at her flesh as her own soft palms alternated between tearing at and caressing his. He worked a steady path up from her shoulder to her ear.
"Not. Another. Word. Do you understand?" He felt her nod against his neck, that dirty liar's tongue darting out to lick the shell of his ear just a moment before her teeth sunk into the lobe.
What little semblance of control he had left shattered in that moment.
The final cloth barriers between them were practically ripped from their bodies and with no further preamble he sunk, down into her. She arched her back, baring her neck to him with a loud gasp.
She had sent him here. She who claimed to love him. She who had betrayed him. She who was likely with Zevran at that very moment. Despite her reassurances to the contrary. He could see it in her eyes. They all took him for a fool. And maybe, maybe he was. Because despite all of that, he still loved her.
What was it she had said to him? 'It's not always about love, Alistair. It's not always about holding hands...'
Another surge of anger ripped through him at that thought, and he channeled it into a brutal rhythm as he pounded into the witch wrapped so tightly around him. Her nails and teeth like fangs and claws as they tore tracks into his skin. Her own cries matching his low moans, and he simply gave up fighting for control of himself.
Soon he felt her whole body tense up, arching off the bed as her heels dug into the flesh of his ass, and was surprised at the nearly instantaneous reaction of his body. Instinct caused him to press as close, and as tight against her as he could. His hands surely leaving welts upon her hip and thigh. Several, deep thrusts later and he spent himself completely inside her slowly relaxing form.
With a shuddering breath, sense began to return to him, and he scrambled off her, turning away quickly. He paused at the edge of the bed, hands on his knees, and his head hung low. Alistair felt her sit up behind him, the sheet that was wrapped around his waist sliding off as she moved.
He inhaled deeply, hoping to clear his mind, only to come back feeling sick to his stomach. The odor of that horrific incense had long since dissipated, but now the air was unmistakably laced with the scent of sex. He needed to get out of there.
When she spoke, her voice was so much less steady than normal that it sounded odd to his ears, "Do not tell me you are now having second thoughts? Not after that performance?"
Alistair snorted, "What would it matter? It's done. I've done my duty like a good little stud-horse, haven't I?" He felt brittle and hollow inside. As if the slightest provocation could cause him to crumble.
"Indeed. Though that is not quite the analogy I would choose." He could practically hear the smile in her voice.
"Oh? I thought it was rather apt."
Morrigan's laugh was brief, which was a kindness in and of itself for her. "You would."
"What analogy would you have chosen then?"
"Oh, another farm animal comes to mind..." He glanced over his shoulder to see her smirking, and making no effort to hide behind a curtain of modesty. His eyes darted down to where her slender fingers rested along her abdomen, the gesture somewhat unsettling. Darkening, palm shaped marks peeked out from behind the cloth haphazardly draped across her lower body. Quickly, he averted his gaze. He swallowed, feeling bile beginning to rise up in his throat. It was time to go, before he lost what little dignity – and dinner – he had left all over the floor of her chambers.
He stood, not caring about the view he afforded her (what difference does it make now anyway?) and collected his clothing – first from the floor by the bed, followed by the chair where she had draped his things.
The crackling of the fire was the only sound for the few minutes that it took him to dress. He knew that she watched his every movement, could practically feel the heat of her stare boring into his back. But he refused to be further derailed by her. He was nearly free of her, free of this room. Free to wonder about the congealed mess that had become his life. Suddenly he couldn't get out of there quickly enough, and practically raced to the door, dignity be damned.
"Alistair..." He had his hand on the lock when she broke the silence. He paused, and tilted his head towards her, but did not turn. Now that the act was over, now that his rage had ebbed, he could feel himself cracking, his body beginning to tremble. He needed to leave. Now. " 'Twas the right choice, you know."
He grimaced, "Somehow, I highly doubt that."
"A day will come when will you not." She sounded so certain that he was almost convinced. He held his breath as he exited the room, grateful for the empty hallway and its dusty air, and in desperate need of a hot bath.
'It's not always about love...sometimes, sometimes it's about something else entirely.'