I don't own Dragon Age: Origins or any of its characters.
Of the Future and the Past
Story by Mrjensen
Summary: Twelve years had passed since the remaining two Grey Wardens ended the Blight. After becoming king, Alistair ended his relationship with his fellow Warden but their first love did not fade away as the time passed. When the hero of Ferelden returned to her birthplace, she had to face an unexpected and uninvited visitor, someone she hoped she would be able to avoid...
A/N: This 'AU' is about Alistair and female, human mage. I directly avoid using her name because I think everyone can relate to the story more if I don't specify it. (Besides I have found many names annoying, XD and I don't want others to feel the same. Not at start at least.)
The mage was humming to herself while carrying some herbs and vials towards the small hut she currently stayed. Despite having been the Hero of Ferelden for years she did not change much over the years… except the forming wrinkles in the corner of her eyes and the couple of grey strands within her pale brown hair.
She had spent years in Orlais amongst the other Grey Wardens, mainly because of one important thing that did change however. She now had someone very dear to her, someone who she wanted to take care of. And that she did not want everyone to know about in her country. Especially not a certain person, whose eyes had the greatest vision above Ferelden.
Even though her life had been rather peaceful now, she did not forget all the dangers… all the adventure she once had, as the leader of a mixed group who had eventually stopped the Blight twelve years ago.
Twelve years? Had it truly been that long?
She stopped hesitantly just in front of the hut's door, squinting towards the Ferelden sunset. Her lips curled upwards into a smile at the rosy colours of the sky, recalling an old memory of someone who had once been important…
Who was she kidding? He had always been important. That did not change either. No matter how long had she called herself stupid and sentimental about it but a part of her heart, the part he conquered to himself, had always belonged to him and to no one else.
-- FLASHBACK --
Death and destruction was all around them, by then she could only see blood and fire wherever she looked. Until the light flashed upon a heavy armour that enveloped the form of the once-templar Grey Warden. The to-be-king of Ferelden's throne.
He was looking at her with an expression that yelled only one thing: regret.
It was her who chose him as king. And that had been the right thing to do, she knew that. Even if it meant loosing him in the end.
He was the one who said it out though. She decided about his fate, and with that she had doomed the future they could have had… together. It hurt when he told her he could no longer be with her. But in that decision it had already shown: he was going to be a great king. Or he would die trying…
"I love you." The words slipped through her lips as naturally as back in the camp each night, and a part of her broke free when he did not turn away.
His eyebrows furrowed as he finally allowed himself to speak. After all, they could have died any minute then. He just… needed to say out the truth one last time.
"And I you." One of his hands rose up to her face, moving his glowed hand ever so softly not to bruise her. He never wanted to hurt her, but it might have already been too late… "Always."
-- NOW --
She narrowed her eyes as she felt herself weaken for a moment. This was the reason why she did not want to come back to Ferelden before. A mage who was this weak-willed only brought trouble.
The human woman heaved a final sigh while turning away from the sight, trying to push away the memory of the deep red rose petals that belonged to a long lost gift. These thoughts were better left forgotten.
She opened the door, walking straight towards a small table, halfway moving to put down the many things from her arms… but then her instincts kicked in.
She froze in mid-move, her eyes slightly round.
There was a long shadow, straight across the hut's interiors. From the corner of her eyes she saw the figure standing tall in front of the only window.
She turned around half putting, half dropping the things to face whoever it had been.
The figure belonged to a man in leather armour who turned his back on her but the pulsing in her blood screamed two things. First, this man had been one of her brothers-in-blood, a Grey Warden, just like herself. And second…
The way he kept his shoulders, one of his hands leaning against the wall by the window had already given her a hint. But when he spoke, her heart skipped a beat.
"After all this time you finally appear here," His voice deepened since she last heard it and the way his words echoed in the small area gave her the impression that he got used to giving orders rather than suggestions. But still, it belonged to him, and that brought back a feeling she believed she had long overcome. "And you wouldn't even come to greet an old ally."
"Alistair…" She tried to talk but as she could only muster a whisper that sounded so unlike her she close her mouth, staring at him as he turned to face her. Oh Maker, she looked almost the same as she remembered him. How could life be so cruel? Shoving in one's face what she had lost, and even making sure that very one realized that out of two comrades it had been her who aged the most.
His dark eyes met hers but the stern look on his face made her shift her weight from one leg to the other. It used to be him who had done the same, she remembered him mentioning something about being as uncomfortable around her sometimes as he had been in front of the Revered Mother.
He had changed. He was no longer that young man who tried to avoid responsibilities and making decisions. Maybe she should have felt proud.
But to be honest, she only felt then that she was in trouble.
For reasons she did not know her cheeks started burning, and it was her who avoided his eyes first and not versa. "I-I did not know what you would have said if I just 'popped in'. I've…" Damn it, she was stuttering like a teenaged girl. She cleared her throat, daring to peek up at him again as she spoke. "I've heard about," Your queen. A beautiful woman who gave birth to your heir. "Elaine… and Maric." She forced a smile upon her features and hoped it hadn't been too obvious of how she felt about them. How she felt about him still… "Congratulations." She said then, saying out what she had in mind. "I'm glad you have the family now that you've always wanted."
The king made a small nod, his gaze for a moment leaving her face. "What I always wanted? What an interesting choice of words…" He sounded somewhat sad, but then his lips turned upwards as he took several steps in her direction. "You know, I shouldn't have blamed you back then… for making me king that is." His words came fast then, and for a second she could see the same Alistair, the young templar who he once was. The one who once belonged to her… "I had a long time to think about the outcome of that decision, and of its consequences."
When he stopped before her it took most of her willpower not to take a step back. Her heart was racing on its own accord, and it was all because of him. What words did he use once? That his head was ready to explode each time she had been around? Well, this time she understood those words even more.
Alistair was standing right in front of her, his lips forming a smile she hadn't seen for a long, long time. "I've missed you." He whispered lowly, and her mouth stayed open as his hand slowly reached towards her face, his fingers brushing her cheek tenderly. "When I said 'always', I did not know how true that word would prove to be…"
His thoughts all fused together and he suddenly did not know which ones to say out. She had been the one who he wanted family with. It had been the truth, it had always been the truth. But he had no choice back then. And now he was king, and she had been a Grey Warden… one who wanted to avoid him, at least that was what the last couple of weeks proved. It was the only thing, however, which had given him hope: because if she tried her best to avoid her king and fellow warden, this meant she had not become ignorant.
And nor did he.
Her cheeks pinked under his touch and when her pink lips slightly parted, his eyes followed the movement almost mesmerized. For how long had he been dreaming about kissing her once again?
His conscious mind wanted to convince him to forget her. She probably had found someone else, he reasoned. When that did not work he tried to imagine her old and wrinkled. But after everything, she had finally stood before him; and she looked gorgeous.
Not a sound escaped them while gazing into the other's eyes and his reasonable mind and well-built walls between the two of them came crushing down, as he realized that no matter how many could have grazed those lips, nor how much time passed since they last met: but he wanted her, now more than ever.
She did not say a word not even as he slowly leaned in, the colours of the skies illuminating their forms with gentle oranges until their lips almost touched...
And then the door of the hut had been pushed in by a loud newcomer, who barely reached halfway above the doorway. "Momma! Momma look I've found some more elfr-!"
A mere moment had been enough for the duo to take a step back, turning their gazes at the young boy, standing in the doorway.
One of the boy's eyebrows arched as he took a suspicious glance at the foreign man. His blondish hair had been slightly longer, forming bangs that fell before his dark eyes. "Mom, is this man bothering you?"
Wha-? Alistair looked from the boy to his mother as she let out a chuckle, and in that moment his eyebrows knitted together. He peered at the kid again. She… has a son?
"No Duncan, do not worry." This made the man stiffen. This time he was openly staring at the female mage, and there was an unsaid disapproval behind his expressions but he remained silent nonetheless.
"This here is…" She looked up at the man she once called her love and a strange smile appeared in the corner of her mouth as she went on. "Alistair. He is the eldest Grey Warden throughout Ferelden."
Auch. Funny enough, but that brought a smile to his face too. "She means I have seniority, surely." Though she tried to distract him, giving him an easy line to make a joke but right now he felt too tense to completely lighten up by it. First, after all he planned to do - or rather say - when he faced her, he almost did what he had always pushed aside labelling it as 'the craziest thing to do'. And then… it turned out she had been a mother? So she did forget about him, and only he was living in a dream-world. He felt like a total idiot…
She probably did not see the flash of pain in his eyes because she turned her attention fully to the boy, kneeling down beside him as she took away the elfroots he had collected for her. "Thank you dear, these are just what I needed." She smiled brightly, one of her hands brushing his hair behind his ear as the boy did not want to look away from Alistair. "Would you go and see what Zevran is doing? You know how he is without city-roads, don't you Duncan?"
The boy finally made a nod, taking one last glance at the stiffly standing man before rolling his eyes. "All right, but yell if you need me, okay?" The boy said before turning on his heels and left the two alone again.
Zevran then? Alistair stood with his fists clenched by his side. Zevran is still around her, after all this time? And she is already a mother, and she named the boy…
"When did you plan to mention him?" The question left him but his voice was rough and hoarse from embattled emotions. They only intensified when she met his eyes but she only showed slight sadness and nothing Else.
"I did not." She stated, her arms folding in front of her chest. She had finally found her voice, and this time she spoke with a stern expression that gave away no emotions.
The king was eyeing her with a darkening face but as she did not say anything more, he heaved a sigh. "I thought that…"
"What?" The mage narrowed her eyes at him. "That now that I returned to Ferelden I would melt in your arms? Well, you've thought wrong." She sounded hurt but he could not determine whether it had been because of true feelings or just her hurt pride that caused it.
Alistair's gaze remained on her face and eyes, trying to read her. But unlike years ago, he did not succeed. Not anymore. She became better with concealing her own emotions, she had changed from the fragile girl who cried against his chest after a nightmare…
She turned her head away from him, facing the setting sun through the door once again. The memories of him did not matter anymore. He had been a king, and she had been a mother and a Grey Warden. There was no future for them, there just couldn't be.
"You shouldn't have come here." She heard herself saying, but a part of her felt ignored and betrayed because of that. What did pride matter anymore? Hadn't she wished for him for years, so why did she act this cruel?
All the doubt he had slowly blinded him, the images of her in the arms of another… being kissed by another, twisted him in the inside. He did not imagine their reunion like this. Anything but this.
The boy's features reappeared in his mind, the boy's blondish hair and slightly tanned skin screamed of one thing. Zevran. He had always flirted with her, even back when she had been his. And after their break up, she did find the elven assassin's company enjoyable. How could jealousy hit in so strongly because of something that happened ages ago? It shouldn't have mattered to him, he got married, he had a son too. How could he feel so betrayed then, because she had done the same thing in the meantime?
"Is he Zevran's?"
He blurted out the question so quick that for a moment she thought she had only imagined it. But the way his eyes bore into hers, and his whole exposure became tense made her straighten in her place. And she took on the defensive. "I don't need to explain myself to you about personal matters, even if you have forgotten we're not anymore-"
One of his fists slammed against the table, some of the glass vials hitting each other, mixing with the noise. "Not once have you thought about maybe I would have wanted to know what was going on with you? I wrote hundreds of letters, never getting an answer from you, but that was something I accepted. But now, now you have a son! A son… and you named him after Duncan, and now he is… how old he is? Nine? Or ten by now?"
For a long moment she considered lying to him. It would have been easier. What was he even doing here? And how dared he question her? He of all people should have known better!
In the meantime Alistair went on furiously. "Is that why you did not want to face me? You knew how I would feel, knowing that you have found yourself another man just as easily as you've decided about my future? Our future-?"
"Eleven!" She snapped suddenly, her eyes burning with the same fire he had seen nowhere else. That in itself would have already silenced him, but what she said had even more of an affect. "Duncan is eleven years old now."
Eleven, eleven plus nine months, but that… that would make him…
She did not know what was going on with her, but tears dwelled up in her eyes and her stomach tightened more with each passing minute until she finally told him the truth. The truth she had kept a secret for almost twelve years.
"Alistair… he is yours."
A/N: Well let me explain something about the story's background. When this whole idea popped in my head it was After 4 a.m, xD because I have been playing with the game for HOURS and as a mage I chose Alistair to become king. But as I did not do this "hardening his character" stuff, he technically dumped my poor, poor, heartbroken mage. XD Damn, I have been so lost for a whole day afterwards! ...not the point. So I could not fall asleep until I could imagine a possible future for the two of them together somehow... XD And from the galaxy of 'what ifs' there came the idea how after All those things she and Alistair had done (DOT DOT DOT) she Could have gotten pregnant. And after the story ended she left to Orlais to join the other Grey Wardens, and Zevran went with her. (Well, in the game he said he would travel there with your character... after all an assassin might come in handy later.)
So there. She got pregnant but only figured this out after the Blight ended. And she knew that if there had been one thing Alistair wouldn't have wanted was for his son to grow up the way he did. As the bastard of the king... :(
And why Duncan? Well... I think that would be the most fitting name for the child of our beloved Grey Wardens. :)
This is a one-shot for now but if you like it and want me to continue then review plz.