He had dreamed he was back in the Chantry, sent again by the Revered Mother to gather eggs from the henhouse. It had been a very large Chantry; they had needed a lot of eggs. Burying his mouth against his arm, Alistair groaned. He could see them even now, their beady little eyes never blinking, always staring.
Shifting his head, he saw them staring still. The rooster leaned close, cocking its head, pecking, pecking…
Sqwaking indignantly, it flapped its wings before falling from the bed and dropping with a thunk. Alistair clutched a pillow to his chest, panting hard. Oh Maker, what had happened to his head?
Blinking once, twice, he willed his eyes to focus. The room was small, the furnishings fine but worn and smelling vaguely of, of… well, ale. A lot of ale. An inn perhaps? But they had been in the Bannorn, in camp. Hadn't they?
"Where am I?"
The snort whipped his head round, the pillow coming up before him in a practiced blocking maneuver. Sten sat stiffly in the room's only chair, watching him with narrowed eyes. "You do not know?"
"I… can't seem to remember."
The Qunari turned away with an exasperated growl.
"Do… you know where we are?"
His response came slow, unwilling. "…No."
"Ah. Right." With some difficulty Alistair swung his legs round, sliding from the bed. But the floor moved, toppling him over with a cry.
"Wha-what?" Oghren sat stiffly, Alistair's ankle pinned beneath him, head whipping round with a bewildered expression. "Whuzzat?"
"Huh, boy. Didn't see ya there. What are you doing on the floor?"
"Heh. Good point." He stood, coming to his toes with a lingering stretch.
"Where are your pants?"
Glancing down, the dwarf let out a rumbling laugh, slapping Alistair on the back as he hurriedly pinched shut his eyes. "Hm. Don't rightly know."
"Well, could you… could you find some…?"
Sten growled his assent.
"Aye. Right. Pants." The dwarf bent to peer beneath the bed, sending Alistair scrambling backwards with a scandalized groan. He moved then to the narrow table, pausing to scratch at his beard. "Huh."
"Anyone seen the elf?"
There, sitting upright on the table was a single boot of Antivan leather.
The room was small and seeming even smaller by the moment but, other than Oghren's spot between the bed and the wall, there was nowhere else to hide. Alistiar shook his head. "I… I don't remember."
"Musta been a good night then."
"How do you figure that?"
The dwarf gave a knowing grin, nodding to the door just behind Sten. "What's that?"
"Pissin' indoors, huh? Fancy."
As he moved to slip round, Sten's brows drew dangerously low. "You are still not wearing pants."
The dwarf gave him a pat on the knee as he pushed past.
The door closed behind him. A moment passed, two. Alistair tried to share a nervous smile with the Qunari but received only a snorting glare in return. Still he sat, stiff and unmoving. He almost might have seemed frightened if there was room for anything more than anger behind those stony features.
The scream made them both jump. Oghren flew through the door, slamming it shut and falling back against it as it buckled. His grin, though, was wicked. "That ain't no elf."
"What? What did you do?"
"Took my piss. And it knew well enough to wait, if ya know what I mean. But… heh…" He fell to chuckling.
Sten bent low, face drawing only inches from the dwarf's. One hand braced against the door, stilling it instantly. "What is it?"
"Big cat of some sort. Stripes an' all. Figment of my imagination." He grinned at Alistair. "Told ya it was a good night."
"That's not a…"
Sten was already moving the dwarf aside, cracking the door to poke his head round. After a moment he growled, bracing the chair beneath the doorknob with a heavy sigh. "I do not know the word in your tongue, but we have such creatures in Seheron."
Oghren blinked up at him. "So it's really a cat, then?"
"Not an elf?"
"No. It is not an elf."
Again, he grinned. "Well, whadda ya know."
Alistair found himself sitting back on the bed, the pillow again held protectively before him. "Right… so… big angry cat thing in the washroom. Zevran's missing. We don't know where we are…"
All three turned at the sound, the rising wail coming from somewhere beneath the bed. Alistair's mouth worked, once, twice before the sound would come. "What is… what is that?"
Sten was already bending, pulling back the blankets to peer beneath the bed. Even his expression seemed to hold something like bewilderment as he straightened. "It is… a child."
"Oh yeah." Oghren's grin was sheepish. "Baby. Right. Saw that there earlier."
"A baby? Whose baby?"
He shrugged. "Dunno." Bending low, he waggled his fingers with a cooing noise.
"Argh! Oghren! Pants!"