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Summary: A City-Elf/Bann Teagan collection of drabbles and one-shots based on a prompt table from an LJ-community. These will be more or less in chronological order with the faintest traces of added plot here and there. Will vary from drabble length to one-shot.
Tasha enters the Chantry with her head held high, even if her hair does tend to hide half of it along with the tattoos she holds so much pride in. In any other place, any other situation, she knows the attendants would stare at her ears. Probably wonder just how an elf of all things managed to get good armor, decent shoes and just why it is carrying weapons. They would be afraid. They would fear her. Maker knows she wouldn't exactly mind.
But the outside is filled with fear of another kind. It fills the atmosphere, makes it weight on both hearts and minds, almost on the bodies themselves. Tasha has been in Ostagar. She knows this kind of fear well enough to look at it like one would look at a dangerous companion. Carefully, cautious and never ignoring it. But the people in the village are used enough to be protected, they cannot deal that well with death sitting at a corner.
So the elf is ignored and she isn't complaining about it. In fact, it's amazing how she's not complaining about a thing, especially considering what she's there to do. In her mind, Tasha replies every word Alistair has told her. The Arl can help them. The Arl is sick. They need their help. The village is in danger. They cannot get help unless they help out. They need to speak with the ruler. The Arl's brother.
And so she pushes her disgust aside, all the things years in the Alienage have taught her – how do they dare to ask her for help? Her of all things? Does her armor makes her less of an elf? Her sword? Closed streets, closed gates, not people, just pets, blood because one spoke out loud when not required. Nobles can do anything they wish. No repercussions. Blood. – and agrees to follow the boy. Tom?
She doesn't want to be here. Redcliffe, Ostagar, the Chantry, they matter little. She just has to. The Alienage also taught her that, the value of duty and sacrifice for a good larger than our own. It is why she's keeping her hate in this little corner of her heart, stashing it away where she can't feel it as strongly and her teeth tightly crisped against each other. Because every politeness tastes like a lie in her lips and she wishes she could leave for Denerim that exact instant. Wishes and wishes some more before pushing it aside as a children's dream. Later. All for later.
Her boots yell loudly in the silent whispers of the worship house. There is chanting, of course, but even it seems muted as if also afraid. And between the villagers she walks, keeping her eyes straight, not left nor right and keeping herself conscious of two things alone. Her companions – friends? – are behind her. Alistair, somber as he never is. Wynne. Leliana. If she focus on them more, she won't focus on how much she doesn't want to do this.
He is tall, is the first thing she notices. Tall, light skin, light hair – darker than Alistair's – longsword on his shoulder, shield in the other and the clothing which is far too rich, far too beautiful to be used by anything less than a noble. And this time, Tasha sinks her teeth against her lower lip because there is scorn pushing her expression into a grimace and she cannot do anything else other than being courteous. This is not Vaughan and he is not reaching for her and they need him and he is not touching her cousin and there is no hatred here but her sword hates and she hates him so much.
That's when her bitterness tastes a little bit too real, too liquid while it flows down her throat. That's fine too, it awakes her from her hatred.
He is not Vaughan.
"It's... Thomas, yes? And who are these people with you? They're obviously not simple travelers."
A soothing voice. He has a soothing voice, slightly deep without being overbearing. It sounds nothing like Vaughan's. The assurance is there, the power which the other wielded so carelessly. There's almost respect as he talks to the boy, some she probably hadn't used when speaking to the same person – Thomas.
For the first time, Tasha allows Alistair to take over the situation, listen carefully to this Bann in search of more differences. Maker knows she will try to do the right thing but what if there's blood in his hands too? What if she returns to Denerim having helped a murderer? She'd sooner leave that village, sooner leave them all. Being a Grey Warden means having no choice, Duncan taught her, but being herself, being an elf, means having freedom. She would leave. She knows she would. And so, Tasha observes before being forced.
He seems kind. He seems happy when seeing Alistair, his nephew - sent to a chantry because he was occupying too much space in his adoptive father's heart. Did he help? - He is glad they lived.
"Indeed," his voice filters through, that odd calming tone touching even her wayward thoughts. "Loghain would have us believe all Grey Wardens died along with my nephew, amongst other things."
And he knows the truth. Tasha knows she still wishes turning around and leaving would be possible, that she doesn't want to do this or be in this place.
"No. Not all of us died." But she does it anyway.
Her hand rises to push her fringe aside, behind her pointed ear, expression neutral and covered in tattoos no human would bother to draw on skin. Elf and Warden, she almost dares, can you see? Can you accept?
Teagan grants her a small smile and there's no disgust. There is only worry – not for her – tiredness – the attacks taking their toll – and fear – not of her - but not disgust.
"So... you are a Grey Warden as well? A pleasure to meet you." Challenge accepted, it is written in the sidelines. "I wish it were under better circumstances."
The more the Bann speaks, the more differences she grasps between two nobles. Her teeth release their captive, the blood stops trickling down her throat and she starts listening, starts talking to this man who is actually a Lord instead of a parody, who is worried with another's life and not using them as he sees fit. She doesn't see Vaughan.
"I have a feeling tonight's assault will be the worst yet. Alistair, I hate to ask, but I desperately need the help of you and your friends."
When he looks at her, begs for her help without words, Tasha sees a Lord.
He is not the man she killed.
"We will help you," she says, gifting him the first semblance of a smile since entering Recliffe. Giving this human a beginning which isn't haunted by the past. And oddly enough, she never dreams of her wedding after that day.
Note: Prompt 001 (Lord) from Troyed community table of prompts.