Some pure fluff to offset all the dark stuff I've been writing lately. Set sometime after Across the Waking Sea, I guess, although no knowledge of that fic is necessary. I don't know why Nancora is pregnant, just go with it.
Nancora Surana lay on her back on the deck of the ship, her dark chocolate hair fanned out beneath her head as she lazily admired the stars. Alistair lay beside her, his arm draped over the half moon of her belly, coming up with names.
"Duncan?" he suggested.
The elf pulled the blanket up under her arms. "I told you," she said, shaking her head, "it's a girl."
"How do you-"
"Please," she said. "I'm not Wynne, but I do know some medicinal arts." Nancora closed her eyes and smiled. "I can see it's a girl."
Alistair frowned. "Dunca...?"
"That is the worst name I have ever heard." Nancora scowled. "Aren't there any women who are important to you that we could name her after?"
"Um... Nancora?" he said, grinning.
"That's very sweet, dear, but it would just be confusing." Nancora rolled to her side, the weight of her belly resting on the cold wood. "Well, what about family names? Your family, for example, as I am a Circle mage and have none." She shifted, fitting her back into the curve of his body, and said, "I like Rowan."
"I'm not actually related to her, remember?" Alistair said. "My life would have gone a little differently if I were."
"Oh, right, sorry. Pregnancy brain." Nancora rubbed her temples and shifted again, trying to find a comfortable position. "How about Goldana?"
"You're kidding, right?"
"Yeah, sorry," she said, giggling. "That was a joke."
A cold crosswind cut across the deck, and Nancora sat up, reaching for her staff. She passed it back and forth a few times until the wind changed, pressing at their backs again. Alistair frowned.
"Are you sure that's safe?" he asked. "I mean, butterfly flaps its wings, and all that."
"In the grand scheme of world altering mistakes we've made," she said ruefully, "I don't think this ranks." Nancora sat silently for a moment, then coughed and looked back at him. "Segueing from this awkward discussion of your other terrifying child, let's get back to naming this one. What do you think of Leliana?"
"It's not terrible..." he said, "but what's the nickname? Leli? Ana? Also, what if she grew up all princess pretty colors? We'd always wonder if it was the name that made her crazy."
"I promise you, this child will be crazy," Nancora said, settling back down beside him. She grinned. "It's in her blood. Oh, speaking of crazy, I had this friend in Amaranthine named Velanna. We were sort of close. Maybe we could name her that?"
"It's a very pretty name, Nancora," Alistair said, "but I don't think we want to name her after anyone who you introduce with the phrase 'speaking of crazy.' Just saying."
"Mmm, you're right." The boat tossed gently on the waters of the Waking Sea, and she shrugged. "I don't know... Anora? Isolde? Uh, Morrigan?"
Alistair laughed. "I hate you." He looked up at the sky. "What about Alfstanna?"
"Don't you dare." Nancora crossed her arms over her chest. "I think we're stuck with Leliana."
"Eh, maybe." Alistair propped himself up on his elbow. "Ooh, let's name her Blight. Because the Blight is what brought us together!"
"You are the dumbest man who ever lived, Alistair, really."
"And you are the sweetest battlemage who ever went on a cruise around the world with me whilst carrying my completely unexpected child," he said, snuggling up against her side. He flattened his palm against her swollen belly, and she rested against him. Suddenly his head shot up. "Maker's Breath, was that...?"
"Yes," Nancora said, with a warm smile. "She's kicking."
"Ah, she's got quite a kick! Just like that high dragon that kicked Zevran in the face," he said, remembering fondly. He hand slid between the gaps in her robe to be closer to the tiny life inside her, and his face melted. "Ooh, can we name her Andraste?"
"Um, no. Definitely not." She shook her head. "Bad things happen to girls named Andraste." Nancora nestled her head into the hollow of his shoulder. "Do you remember that fight? Besides Zevran getting kicked that one time, which was, admittedly, hilarious."
"Of course I do," he said, running his thumb in circles across her skin. "Best fight to act out with my little dolls, you know. All the pieces match."
"That's... wow." Nancora laughed. She bit her lip and met his eyes, smiling girlishly. "Tell me how you remember it. But without the action figures, 'kay?"
"You hit the gong," he said, "which was very brave, by the way, but totally insane. I mean you knew there was a dragon up there right?" Nancora shrugged, and Alistair continued. "I started wacking at it with my sword in a very manly fashion, while you were whipping up your usual maelstroms. Zevran ran up behind the dragon and, as I already mentioned, got kicked in the face." He chuckled. "Oh, still funny."
"He did manage to get up again," Nancora reminded, "and then removed himself to a distance, with his fancy new bow." She scowled at him. "You, however, did not. The dragon took a pretty big bite out your leg, as I recall. I remember watching you bleed out..."
Alistair nodded. "Maker, I thought I was going to die," he said.
Nancora grabbed his forearm and squeezed it. "But then Wynne saved you," she said. They both grew quiet, remembering the gray haired mage. She had survived the Blight and lived to see the Archdemon die, but the spirit that bound her to this world did not stay with her much longer than that. Nancora saw her once more, in Amaranthine, before she passed on. She sighed. "I know she was old but..."
"I miss her too," Alistair said.
"She taught me at the Circle, you know," Nancora said. Alistair watched her face, listening quietly. "I never got the knack of healing magic, completely, but she did try." Nancora looked at the stars. "Wynne always liked to teach people. Sometimes to the point of annoyance, but she meant well. She really cared about me."
"My second favoritest mage," Alistair said wistfully. "She said I reminded her of the son she lost." He rubbed his chin against her shoulder. "Nancora...?"
Nancora nodded. "Yeah, I think that's it." She craned her neck to look at her stomach. "Hello, Wynne."
A shape moved across her stomach, and Alistair thrilled as the baby responded to her new name. It was official. He sat up and crouched over her stomach.
"Hi there, brand new baby Wynne," he cooed. "You're named after a really awesome lady." Alistair smiled. "You know what else is cool? You're going to win at everything. Get it? Win? Wynne? Best name ever!"
Nancora rolled her eyes. "Oh, great!" she said. "You had to hold that in until we'd both fallen in love with the name." She frowned. "We can't go back to Leliana, now can we? I have to live with that pun for the rest of my life?"
"Pretty sure you do, yeah."