Disclaimer: I don't own DA:O or any of its characters.
A/N: Just a bit of Alistair fluff that popped into my head. One-shot.
Oh, Maker, I really shouldn't be doing this. It goes against everything I've been taught. I should just forget about it. I should get up and leave, pretend that I never set foot in her tent. But there it is, lying on her pillow, staring up at me with that mocking expression. Okay, maybe books don't have expressions, but if they did, this one would certainly be of the mocking variety. I cast a furtive glance over my shoulder then return my gaze to the book. Scratch that, it's not a book. It's a journal.
I'd seen her writing in it every night since she arrived in Ostagar. It was as if the bloody thing was an extra appendage for her. I watched her scrawl fervently each night by the fire, her eyes not once lifting from the page. I often wondered what she wrote about. At fist I thought the book might hold a collection of spells, but one day Leliana had confided that it was in fact a diary. I asked Leliana how she knew, and the bard had replied that she had simply asked outright, and the Warden had told her. It was then that I decided that I needed to read the contents of her journal. I needed to know what I'd done to cause her to dislike me.
Maybe it all stemmed from our first encounter. We didn't exactly hit it off, truth be told.
"Wait, we haven't met have we? I don't suppose you happen to be another mage?"
"Would that make your day worse?"
"Hardly, I just like knowing my chances of being turned into a toad at any given moment."
"For your information, I don't know how to turn someone into a toad. You people are all the same, ignorant and fearful of anything your Chantry deems harmful. If you have a problem with my magic, say so now."
"I-I apologize, I really didn't mean to-"
"Whatever. Duncan told me to come and get you. We're to commence preparations for this Joining ritual. It's a pity really. After meeting Duncan, I had hoped that the Grey Wardens were more open minded than the rest of the world when it came to their attitude about mages. Looks like Duncan is the exception to the rule."
When she found out about my being a templar, things just got worse. She remained distant, her responses to any questions I posed were clipped. The only time she'd shown me any kind of emotion was when we'd awoken in Flemeth's hut after the battle at Ostagar. She obviously saw that I was in a great deal of pain, and took the time to comfort me. It didn't last though, and soon she returned to her usual aloof self; around me anyhow. With the others she was friendly and attentive.
So here I am, sitting in her tent, staring down at her journal, preparing to invade her innermost thoughts. What choice do I have? We're the last surviving Wardens and we need to work together! This chasm that lies between us needs to be bridged, and if that means that I have to read her journal to find out the exact reason for her disliking me, then so be it.
I reach down and pick up the leather bound book and flip open the cover. The first entry is obviously several years old and holds no bearing to my quest for knowledge. I skip through a pile of pages until I land on one that pertains to more recent events. Each entry is numbered instead of being identified by date.
Ostagar is cold and unwelcoming. I'm greeted with mistrust and apprehension. Chantry zealots wander the camp, casting angry glares in my direction. How can they be so short-sighted? Can't they see that we're serving the greater good? I'm starting to lose complete faith in humanity and am questioning the purpose of trying to save those that hate me for being born different.
I met with another Grey Warden today, and was sorely disappointed. He obviously holds as much disdain for me as any other. He actually thought I could turn him into a toad! I must admit though, I'm a bit saddened by his reaction. At first glance I thought he might be different. He seemed like a sweet and funny man. Too bad he thinks I'm a freak. The Joining ritual is about to start, I'd best head down to the Old Temple.
I sigh and run my fingers through my hair. She couldn't have been more wrong. I had – have - nothing but the utmost respect for her. Maker, if only I hadn't acted like such a fool; maybe things would be different. My mind leaps to yet another failed conversation we had concerning Morrigan.
"We can't trust her! For all we know she could be a blood mage."
"I didn't know the Wardens were against blood magic. I was under the impression that they would resort to such practices to ensure victory over the darkspawn."
"Maybe some think that, but it's just…it's evil!"
"I think your Chantry upbringing is getting the better of you. What would you do if I told you that I was a blood mage? Would you strike me down? Would you turn me in?"
"Don't be ridiculous! You're no blood mage."
"Perhaps not, but my reasons for not practicing blood magic have nothing to do with my moral compass."
"Then what are your reasons?"
"None of your concern."
She'd fixed me with a cold gaze and retreated to her tent. I was hurt by her dismissal, and at the time had thought her to be just as much a frigid shrew as Morrigan. That is until I heard the muffled sobs coming from her tent. I'd wanted to go to her so badly, to find out
what was causing her so much pain. That had been the beginning of my infatuation with her. I flip to another entry.
Redcliffe was under attack when we arrived. The Veil was torn, and the walking dead roamed the village at nightfall. We managed to drive them off, but I was met with quite an…unfortunate surprise. Jowan was the one responsible for the Arl's illness. I can't believe he could be so STUPID. First he dabbles in blood magic, which I could never forgive him for, and now…now there's no way I can help him. His fate is sealed. I'm not even sure I would help him if I could. He knew about Bel…about what she did to me…and he tricked me into helping him, told me that the rumours about him being a blood mage weren't true.
When we found out that Connor was the cause of the tear in the Veil, Jowan actually suggested we let him use blood magic to resolve the problem. As if I'd ever agree to such a thing! Instead we'll be heading back to the Tower to ask Irving for assistance. I'm sure he'll be able to help us.
I think Alistair actually thought that I'd let Jowan kill Isolde in order to save Connor, that I'd actually let him perform some sort of blood magic ritual. He must think I'm a complete monster…
And that's another bucket of worms. What am I to do about these feelings? I can't very well ignore him forever. It's so inappropriate though…Ugh, maybe it'll work itself out.
Yeah yeah, I know. Fat chance.
I frown and re-read the comment about her feelings being inappropriate. Was she referring to her disdain for me? I'm a bit upset that she doubted my faith in her. I knew that she'd make the right decision, and I'd even told her just how happy I was that she went to so much trouble. I glance once more at the entry and pause at the mention of 'Bel'. Who is Bel, exactly? Perhaps an earlier entry will shed some light on it. I flip backward about a hundred or so entries, when finally the name leaps up at me from the page.
Bel wanted to tutor me again. She's a full mage and I'm just an apprentice, so I can't exactly say no…but every time she invites me to her room, I end up passing out. I have the weirdest dreams too, and when I wake up there are always strange marks all over my arms. I'm worried she's testing spells out on me. I asked her once what happened when I passed out, and she went nuts and threatened to tell the Knight-Commander that I was practicing blood magic if I told anyone about our tutoring sessions. I'm so confused! Bel wouldn't do anything to hurt me, would she?
My blood runs cold. Someone had experimented on her. I feel the rage bubble up inside of me. No wonder she'd been so adamant about not letting Jowan perform blood magic. I decide to flip to the most recent entry. She's bound to return from her nightly bath, and if she catches me reading her journal, there will be blood, and I know it'll be mine. Hopefully this next entry will bear more fruit on the topic of her feelings for me.
The Tower was in shambles, overrun by abominations. I promised Greagoir that I would deal with the problem. It certainly wasn't easy. I met up with Wynne again, and she was a great help. Unfortunately just when I thought we'd reached the end, we encountered a sloth demon, who trapped us in the Fade. The illusion he created for me was…painful. I wanted for it to be real so badly. I'd like to think that those desires were tucked away deeply in the recesses of my mind, but I know that's a lie. It should be no surprise that he was the main focus of the illusion. A realm where he actually wanted me…loved me, even. That was the first tip off that it was all fake, to be honest. Not in a million years could he have feelings for me. It's so bloody frustrating! When I'm not having nightmares about the archdemon I'm dreaming about him.
We were finally able to restore order to the Circle, and Irving and some other mages travelled with us to Redcliffe in order to save Connor. I was able to enter the Fade once again and defeat the demon that had a hold on the boy. He's safe now, thank goodness.
At the camp, he came to me and told me just how happy he was with how the situation was handled. I brushed off his gratitude, but inside I was flying. He probably thinks I hate him, but it's safer this way. I need to maintain that wall around my heart. He could never love a mage, he's a sodding templar! Ugh, listen to me! I'm pathetic!
I can't help it though…I think about him all of the time.
My heart hammers in my chest. It's not possible…she can't feel this way about me. She hates me! Right? Oh Maker, is it too much to hope that she cares as much about me as I do her? I need to talk to her as soon as poss-
"Alistair? What are you doing?"
I whip around and there she is, leaning by the front flaps. Her hair is slightly damp, and her robes cling to her in all the right places. I drop her journal like it's on fire, and I pray that she didn't notice me holding it.
"Were you-were you reading my journal?" she asks incredulously.
"I-I can explain! See, I thought it was a book about cheese, and it wasn't until I saw your handwriting that I realized it was most definitely not about cheese. I swear I didn't read a thing!" I stammer. Hopefully she'll buy it.
"Just…just leave. If I catch you going through my stuff again without asking, I swear I'll shoot a lightening bolt right up your-"
"Okay, okay! I'm going!" I slide past her and exit the tent. I let loose a sigh of relief. I wander into my own tent and slide into my bedroll. I come to a decision right then and there. I'll give her the rose tomorrow.
I tuck a stray strand of hair behind my ear and stifle a grin. Leliana had been right, the temptation had been too much for him. Did he honestly think that a woman would leave her innermost thoughts out in the open like that, unprotected? Well, either way he knows how I feel about him, and now it's up to him. He can either ignore what he read and we'll go on as before, or he'll do something about it. Leliana had said that he was obviously interested in me. We'll just see about that.
Before I crawl into my bedroll I make a short entry in my journal detailing today's events. Then, as I usually do, I trace a small glyph of repulsion on the cover as a means of protecting it. I tuck the leather bound book beneath my pillow and slip into an Alistair filled dream.
The next morning I wake to the smell of breakfast. I wander out of my tent, rubbing my eyes blearily. I pick up a plate and scoop a heaping portion of eggs onto it. Morrigan rolls her eyes at my insatiable appetite. I stick my tongue out at her and she rolls her eyes yet again, though a smile graces her features. I take up a seat next to Leliana and dig in. I'm halfway through my meal when I feel someone tap me on the shoulder. I turn to see who dares disturb me during food time. When I realize who it is, my heart begins to flutter. I smile widely by way of greeting. "Yes? What can I do for you?" I ask warmly.
"Here, do you know what this is?"