So, Did You and Oghren Ever…?
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age.
Note: I love Oghren, I really do. I'm also convinced he would make one of the absolute worst love interests in the entire game. I mean, just ask Felsi.
Sigrun stood in the doorway as she watched the departing Warden-Commander of Amaranthine packing. Aunn had made no secret of how much she didn't appreciate filling in as Arlessa while the Ferelden Queen did what she had to to get her father appointed to the post instead and so it was hardly surprising that, barely a week after the Architect and the Mother had been slain, she was going back to Orzammar.
"Commander, I have a question for you if you don't mind," Sigrun said hesitantly. It really was rather silly but since Aunn was leaving she may never get another chance to ask this and really would drive her crazy. Sigrun wasn't actively serving with the Legion anymore so she wouldn't have much opportunity to go to Orzammar – until she found time to do her Calling between all the Warden responsibilities she'd suddenly been saddled with – and she'd been discouraged from going back to the city anyway. She could always ask Oghren, she supposed, but it was always…difficult to talk to him since he took and gave offense so freely.
Aunn looked up from her pack and smiled encouragingly. "Ask away, Sigrun."
Even with the invitation to proceed, Sigrun still hesitated. "It's kind of a personal question. And…weird. I'm actually not sure why I'm even wondering about this at all but once I started I really could stop thinking about it. Trust me, I've tried," she rambled.
Aunn laughed gently at how flustered the other girl was. "It's alright, you know. You can ask me anything and if the question bothers me then I just won't answer it."
"Promise you won't get mad?" Sigrun asked, just to make sure.
Aunn nodded dutifully. "I promise."
"Or laugh?" Sigrun pressed.
"I'll make an effort," Aunn replied, preferring not to make promises she might not be able to keep and she had no idea what Sigrun was about to say.
"Okay then," Sigrun said, taking a deep breath once she'd run out of stall tactics. She'd already put this off for weeks and was really running out of time. "You know how Oghren was the only other dwarf travelling with you to end the Blight?"
Aunn tilted her head. "Well, unless you could Shale," she confirmed.
Sigrun frowned in confusion for a moment before remembering that Shale was the golem that had been travelling with them and golems being discovered to have been made from dwarves had been almost as hot a topic for gossip as the new King. "You've also said that you're not interested in non-dwarves, right?"
"I must admit that Teagan may have been an exception," Aunn said slowly, "but nothing happened. Other than that, though, yes. Why?"
"Well, did you ever, you know, like Oghren?" Sigrun asked in a rush, feeling very much like she was a hormonal teenager again.
Aunn choked and a few strands of blonde hair fell out of her braided double bun. "Wait, what?"
"Were you ever interested in Oghren?" Sigrun obligingly repeated despite suspecting that Aunn knew exactly what she'd just asked.
"I don't even…" Aunn trailed off, shaking her head. "Why would you ask me something like that?" she demanded.
"You said you wouldn't get mad!" Sigrun protested.
"I'm not mad although I may have gone into shock…" Aunn declared, looking rather pale.
"It's not that weird of a question, surely," Sigrun said stubbornly. "You guys were travelling practically alone for months on an epic quest to end the Bligh…closeness develops due to proximity and your hormones get the best of you…things happen."
"Not with Oghren they don't," Aunn said firmly. "You've been reading too many romance novels."
"So, what? You didn't like him?" Sigrun asked just to make sure.
"Of course not!" Aunn exclaimed, sounding a little horrified at the very thought. "Why would you even think that?"
"Well, it's like I said. You and a select group of people were all travelling alone for weeks and months on end, he was the only dwarf…" Honestly, Sigrun did think it sounded like some pretty weak justification but she'd seen couples get together for less. She didn't understand it and apart from the decidedly non-helpful 'the heart wants what the heart wants' then no one who did could explain it.
"Do you like him?" Aunn challenged.
Sigrun made a face. "No. Just…no."
"Then why would I? It's been a few months since you joined up with us and, aside from Dworkin and Voldrik Glavonak who are usually busy and always stay at the Keep, Oghren's the only male dwarf around," the Commander pointed out.
"Well, yeah, but…" Sigrun couldn't even finish that sentence.
"I know," Aunn said understandingly. "So there's no misunderstandings later, let me make it perfectly clear that I never had any designs on Oghren. Just because we're the same species and there aren't many dwarves on the Surface doesn't make me so desperate I'd want to jump the first one I see. There are many, many reasons why I wasn't interested. To begin with, I wasn't single when I got exiled and it took a few months to find out that my boyfriend and moved on. I was rather attached to him, I'll admit, and so I wasn't looking to immediately jump into anyone's arms, let alone Oghren's."
"Yeah, he doesn't seem like he'd be the most comforting of individuals," Sigrun conceded.
"No, back before hated me, Alistair usually did that even if he didn't know any of the details," Aunn informed her.
Sigrun started. "Alistair? As in King Alistair?" The very thought of talking to royalty about your problems…ah, but Aunn was royalty as well, wasn't she? It was always so hard to remember that as, despite Aunn's regular mentions of how much she loved Orzammar, House Aeducan, or other noble things she didn't really act like any of the nobles Sigrun had ever met…which basically just meant that she didn't act like Sigrun was beneath her notice.
"The one and only. And then there's the fact that Branka had just died so I felt it was a little soon for him as well," Aunn continued. "And while I'm fine with vulgarity in friends, I'm hardly looking for it in a boyfriend."
Sigrun nodded knowingly. "Oghren was really lucky that he's resistant to magic after he spent fifteen minutes telling Velanna all about how non-cushioning her ass was."
"And then there's the alcohol. I can't stand Orzammar ale, obviously, and while Surface ale is much better I still end to avoid it. Being intoxicated lessens your inhibitions, after all, and that can get you killed," Aunn explained. "Oghren's tendency to be drunk all the time bothers me. Other people may not care but it's kind of a deal-breaker for me."
"Drinking at all?" Sigrun wondered.
Aunn shook her head. "Drinking like Oghren. Keep in mind that it's not like he'd even be interested in me. He's not over Branka, for one, but besides that would need to change him far too much in order to date him and no one wants to hear their girlfriend telling them that they aren't good enough. I'm also very concerned with what other people think and always make sure to watch what I say in front of people that I don't trust – which is a lot of people – and having to watch himself all the time, particularly while drunk, is just not something Oghren would enjoy."
"I'm not entirely sure he would even be capable of it," Sigrun confessed.
"Not to mention that my ambitions are a little higher than 'hang out with the Grey Wardens and kill darkspawn as required.' Besides, you really have no idea all the time I've spent hearing about not getting in a relationship with someone of a lesser caste which, given the complications, I wouldn't do lightly and again it implies that he's not good enough if I'd have to hide that I was with him. It's…" Aunn paused, clearly struggling to find the right words to use, "not a good situation. For anyone." Sigrun wondered if Aunn had seen a relationship like that go bad and that was why she was so hesitant about it. In Orzammar, cross-caste relations could go very bad very quickly.
"I don't know, Oghren seems pretty set on staying up here and castes only really matter in Orzammar," Sigrun pointed out. It wouldn't negate Aunn's other reasons but it would make this hypothetical couple less of a problem. Even if Aunn were going back for now, she didn't have to stay back and from what Sigrun understood she had spent a few months back in Orzammar already prior to coming to Amaranthine.
Aunn winced. "That's the other deal-breaker. My first love has always been Orzammar and he has lots of issues with it. I don't blame him; they were pretty awful to him. Much worse than they were to me, actually, and I was legally responsible for fratricide, which also meant the death of the named heir to the throne," she mused thoughtfully.
"Oghren says that he can't believe that you're going back under the circumstances," Sigrun confided.
"They're making me a Paragon," Aunn replied with a shrug as if that settled it. "And even if they weren't, just the fact that I can go back is enough. Oghren…tell me where he fits into that? He's got a lot of problems and having a girlfriend won't 'save' him. Look at poor Felsi: she tried and now she has an infant daughter named after me to take care of all alone."
Sigrun bit her lip. "So you think that he's hopeless?" That was rather a depressing prospect, particularly from the person at the Keep who knew him the best.
"Oh, who even knows?" Aunn said, distinctly uncomfortable. "The fact of the matter is that if he can be helped it will take a long-term time commitment and a lot of effort but I'm not staying. It may sound cold but I just can't be that person and I've got my own issues. We would be a disaster."
Sigrun thought about it. It did sound a little callous on the face of it but if she wasn't staying and Oghren was then there wasn't much the soon-to-be Paragon could do. Still…"You've put a lot of thought into this," she said suspiciously.
Aunn rolled her eyes. "Leliana and Wynne always used to ask me about Oghren all the time. Leliana was a romantic and Wynne chronically needed to be convinced that we weren't going to run off to Antiva and leave Ferelden in the lurch…"