On Second Thought…

Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Age.

Angélique Amell gave a girlish giggle and kissed Alistair on the cheek before tossing her long golden hair behind her and bouncing away.

Alistair watched her go with a silly little half-smile on his face before starting and furiously scrubbing at his skin where his fellow Warden's lips had touched.

Zevran watched the sight, amused. As he had suspected, Alistair was furiously fighting his own attraction to their illustrious leader and he had to admit, he was rather curious as to why. Was it the mage thing? Wynne's 'you're not old enough to have a girlfriend and save Ferelden' thing? The 'I was almost a Templar and had resigned myself to celibacy' thing? There was only one way to find out and it would certainly make the long walk to Orzammar pleasanter.

"Girl trouble?" he asked, the innocent concern in his voice belied by the sly smirk upon his face.

"You have no idea," Alistair muttered, still trying to get any trace of Angélique off of him.

"True, I do not," Zevran replied easily. "I would like to, though."

"Why?" Alistair asked suspiciously, wincing a little as rubbing at his cheek became painful. He reluctantly lowered his hand. "So that you can laugh at me?"

"No, no," Zevran assured him. "So that I may help you. And then, perhaps, laugh at you. But at least you'll get some advice, no?"

"I suppose…" Alistair said slowly, clearly wavering. "And it's not like I can ask anyone else. Leliana would tell me to go for it as she loves a love story, Wynne would tell me not to risk it as I'm a Grey Warden and have responsibilities, Sten would probably order me to use real words, Angélique's dog hates me, and can you even imagine what Morrigan would say?"

"Yes, everyone else would be most unhelpful in this matter," Zevran agreed readily. "So why don't you tell me all about your problems?"

"I don't have 'problems', per se," Alistair began. "I have one problem and her name is Angélique."

"Oh?" Zevran inquired, raising an eyebrow. "It didn't look that way earlier. She even kissed you goodbye before leaving."

"And you saw my reaction to that, didn't you?" Alistair asked grimly. "Or rather, my delayed reaction?"

"Yes, you looked pleased before acting like you thought she had poisoned you," Zevran confirmed. He paused. "Do you think that she poisoned you?"

"Oh, if only," Alistair said with a heavy sigh. "I hate Angélique. I really do."

"It didn't look that way earlier," Zevran said dubiously. "Not that I judge, of course. Sometimes hate sex can be the very best kind."

"I was always raised to think that sex should only be done between two people that love each other very much," Alistair said stiffly. "And it's a good idea if they're married, too. And by 'married', of course, I mean 'to each other' and not having a sordid affair."

"Ah, but you were raised by the Chantry," Zevran pointed out. "And incidentally, Chantry sisters…not nearly as inhibited as you might think. In Antiva, those vows really tend more towards guidelines anyway…"

"I am not hearing this," Alistair said, staring quite determinedly at a tree in the distance.

Zevran decided to take pity on him. "Ah, but we were talking about Angélique, no? What is it about her that makes you uncomfortable?"

"She's the most vapid, oblivious, self-centered person I've ever met. Yes, she's pretty and yes that's affecting me but she's just not worth it," Alistair growled. "And she seems to have decided to set her sights on me. I really have no idea what to do."

"Surely you're exaggerating," Zevran said confidently. He may have only entered Angélique's company a week and a half ago but surely the beautiful woman who saved his life couldn't be that bad?

"I'm not," Alistair insisted. "It's like…you know how I hate Loghain, right?"

"I think everyone who has been in your company for longer than five minutes is aware of that little tidbit," Zevran said dryly.

"Well say I had my sword pressed against Loghain's neck and one of his men had taken Angélique prisoner and threatened to kill her unless I let Loghain go," Alistair said, trying to find the best way to explain the situation. "My first instinct would probably be to kill Loghain and then thank Loghain's man. I would never actually do that, of course, because it would be wrong and because Angélique is the only other Grey Warden in Ferelden but, Maker forgive me, I would want to. Desperately."

"I'm really not seeing a problem here, Alistair," Zevran confessed.

"You don't?" Alistair looked surprised. "I see several."

"Well, your murderous inclinations towards your fellow Warden might be a tad disconcerting if you can't control yourself but you'd think your years in Templar training would be good for that if nothing else," Zevran said dismissively. "And you have a choice here. You can either ignore your attraction to Angélique and continue nobly suffering as you pine away for your one true love to come alone-"

"Which sounds like what I have been doing," Alistair interrupted. "But you don't have to make it sound quite so…"

"Quite so what?" Zevran prompted.

"Quite so pathetic," Alistair finished.

"I am doing nothing of the sort," Zevran claimed. "If you feel that what you are doing is pathetic then perhaps you should consider a change?"

"But…I don't think it is," Alistair disagreed.

"Then there should not be a problem. But your other option, if the waiting around and hoping your attraction will go away option doesn't work out, is to just give in and have angry hate sex until you get over her," Zevran announced. "Or until one of you kills the other, whichever comes first."

"Didn't I just tell you that I couldn't do that?" Alistair asked, aghast. "I don't even know why I'm bothering to talk to you at all if you're not going to listen."

"I was listening," Zevran insisted. "It's just that you told me what you were raised to believe by the Chantry you're no longer a part of and I don't really see why that must dictate the rest of your life."

"Well…" Alistair looked uncertain. "I really don't know. It's kind of complicated."

"Tell me all about it," Zevran invited, hoping he was about to hear something good he could feel free to tease the former Templar about later.

"Well, I suppose it all goes back to my childhood," Alistair mused. "My mother died in childbirth and my father hardly loved her, their…liaison was just for fun. I never even met the man, you know, but I can't help but think that if they had loved each other then I would have had a far happier time of it. And then there's Arl Eamon. He refused to take politics into account when he married and even though his wife is, when, Lady Isolde and I don't see how anyone could want to marry her they seemed very happy together. And he was always impressing upon me the need to not fool around with just anybody and to definitely not carelessly reproduce even though I was only ten when I was sent off to the Chantry. That, of course, couldn't have helped my issues on the matter given their take on sex and I spent many of my formative years there. And then, of course-"

Zevran watched in horror as Alistair seemed intent on regaling him with his entire life's story. Sure, a little teasing material was always good but this seemed like the kind of thing that would occupy him all the way to Orzammar and he suddenly found that he wasn't quite as desperate for a diversion from the walking after all.

"That…that's all very fascinating, Alistair," he interjected the moment the other man paused to take a breath. "But all this Chantry talk…it's much more Leliana's specialty than mine, I suspect."

"But I already told you that-" Alistair began to protest.

"Yes, well, just have her try to get to the root of your sex complex," Zevran cut him off. "She's probably the most qualified among us to do that anyway and the most knowledgeable about the Chantry. You can feel free to come back and ask me about Angélique in particular once Leliana's helped you with your issues if it's even still a problem. Who knows? You might just figure out what to do on your own before then."

As Zevran practically shoved Alistair Leliana's way, he hoped the almost Templar would be able to work it out on his own. Either way, that was hardly his problem anymore, he decided as he sidled up next to Morrigan, his mind racing for the best way to go about melting Morrigan. He had a bet to win, after all.

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