Stay Just A Little Longer

He misses her.

The scent of her hair, the color of her eyes, every scar that marred her battle worn skin. Alistair missed it all. She was fading in his memory, the past year. He no longer remembered what her favorite color was, or if she'd ever licked a lamppost in winter, or those final whispered words in love's final embrace. Those words had left impressions upon the shell of his ear, traces of something long forgotten in the days of being King.

Kallian Tabris had been one of a kind, he'd said at her funeral, a purer and stronger Warden than he himself could ever hope to be. And the words leave a bitter taste in his tongue. Kallian wouldn't have liked that. She would've told him to be strong, that he was just as good a leader as her.

"You can lead if you want to, Alistair."

These days, he dreams of long forgotten faces and days spent around a campfire. He dreams of Witches Of The Wilds and Dwarven Drunks, of Antivan Assassins and gloomy Qunaris. He dreams of an auburn-haired woman who smiles at him and hands him his mother's amulet, in-tact and not broken as he once thought it was.

He dreams of whispers and the ghosts of a hand that once held his. Of nails scratching at his back. Of encouraging words murmured in his ear.

Alistair dreams of the past. And wakes up in a future he did not want. Skin opalescent and sweaty, eyes dilated in fear and something else entirely.

He drowns himself in his sorrows. The bottle has become his estranged lover, held tightly like a cherished mistress, and he drowns in the acidulous feeling that crawls down his throat with each, damning sip.

Kallian would've hated to see him like this. She would've told him that he needed to grow a spine and get over it. Would've told him that there were worse things in the world than her death. Would've told him to step up and be the leader that Ferelden so desperately needed.

He would've laughed at her.

He would've told her, "Please stay. For me?"

And she would've shook her head and left him once more. Perhaps not running, perhaps not taking a greatsword and piercing the head of an Old God. She was the strong one. She was the leader that Ferelden needed.

Not him.

"Let me slay the archdemon. Please."

"No."

So he drowns himself in the bottle just a little more, because the memory of her, fading as it was, was just a little too hard to bear.


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