Tamlen was standing in front of her, bow in hand, and Lyna couldn't believe it. She simply stood and stared at his trademark grin, the one that had always been just for her, and her own face mirrored his expression. She had to contain herself as to not run to him; she made an effort to keep her steps slow and measured as she strode purposefully towards him. This was Tamlen, without a doubt, and Lyna's eyes explored his familiar face; looking for what, she wasn't sure.
She stopped just before she would run into him, and tilted her head back to meet his blue eyes. Impulsively, she took the next step forward only to find that her arms went right through him, and he spun around, disappearing into the foggy distance, leaving her to cry wordlessly after him. But he did not turn.
Lyna was catapulted back into consciousness, her arms stretched upwards to touch someone that wasn't there. She sat up slowly, licking her lips carefully, and tasting the salt of tears that she refused to wipe away. Suddenly, Lyna felt claustrophobic: she had to get out of the tent; she couldn't see the stars; she couldn't breathe. She thrust aside her bedroll and stood, almost falling as the blood rush made her dizzy.
She stumbled outside, gasping at the fresh, cool air as it hit the wet trails on her face. The one advantage to the night chill was that it cleared her head, and Lyna was able to walk over to a tree with relative ease before collapsing and leaning up against it. She took a calm, measured breath, and tilted her head back to look at the stars, her hair snagging on the rough bark.
Usually the sight of the night sky comforted her, as one of the few things that had been a constant throughout her life. Now the stars seemed to mock her, cold and distant, and she felt the familiar prickling of her eyes as she remembered how she and Tamlen used to watch them and talk until the sun rose, when it blocked them out with its brilliance. He had been able to find pictures in them, which he used to point out to her, but tonight Lyna could find none. She shut her eyes tightly against them, the face of her friend still clear on the backs of her eyelids.
Zevran was returning to camp to awaken Alistair for the next watch when he saw a figure slumped beneath a tree. His footsteps were soft as he freed two daggers from his person, not wanting to be taken by advantage if the figure turned out to be unfriendly.
The assassin crept slowly up to the tree before he let out a long sigh, and loosened his grip on the weapons.
He bent down to look into the face of the elven girl and shook his head softly. "Come now my dear Warden," he began, mostly speaking to himself. "You should know better than to fall asleep outside, it makes you an extremely easy target."
Zevran began hooking his arms underneath his prone figure before suddenly halting, looking at her exposed neck with irritation. Really, she must have taken complete leave of her senses to sleep out in the open, in this position nonetheless. It was practically an invitation for any passerby wishing to gain favor with Loghain just to saunter over and kill her, Zevran couldn't see everything while on watch. Lyna should've known better. From what he had been able to tell, she truly believed that it was her duty to help eradicate the darkspawn. She was on a mission; to allow someone to take her life before she completed it would be irresponsible, rather than just stupid.
Not to mention that there were many things one could do to a vulnerable girl rather than simply killing her. Zevran knew that well, and he would be lying if he claimed that he had not experimented with those more than most.
He shook his head furiously, it rankled him how irrationally angry the idea made him.
Scowling, Zevran strode briskly across camp, Grey Warden in his arms. The moonlight shone on her face, only highlighting the vulnerability visible in her calm face and loosened hair. He vaguely wondered if he ever would have guessed it was so long, past her shoulders, judging by the omnipresent ponytail she wore. Probably not.
Scrutinizing her face took the assassin's eyes off of the ground; therefore he missed the branch that lay obtrusive on the forest floor. He stumbled, and although he quickly righted himself, albeit with a bit more difficulty than usual considering the figure in his grip, said woman began to shift within his hold.
Zevran froze, wondering what the best course of action would be. He wasn't sure if she'd take kindly to waking up in the arms of a former Antivan Crow, even one who had sworn loyalty to her, and the chances of her assuming he had dishonorable intentions were high. As a matter of fact, he admitted to himself, if he had witnessed such a scene, he likely would have assumed the same, although he knew that he would not have the same distaste for such things as he suspected Lyna did.
He was just bending down to relinquish his hold on her when her eyes opened in the smallest slits. She made a questioning noise, and Zevran attempted a cheerful, nonchalant smile, although he thought that is might appear more like a grimace. To his surprise, her eyes slid shut, and she smiled softly.
He fleetingly remembered that she was only seventeen, a mere child, no matter how competent she was in the fighting arts, and no matter how many burdens rested upon those slim shoulders. Maybe she always would have been as trusting as this semi-conscious state rendered her, if events had turned out differently.
"Hey, Tamlen," she said softly, and Zevran frowned, brought back from his musings. Who was this 'Tamlen'? But before he could correct the Warden's error, she spoke again.
"I knew you would come find me. I was the only one who believed you were still alive, you know. Duncan, the man who recruited me, he said you were dead, and everyone believed him. I was there for the ceremony. It was beautiful." Her words slurred together sleepily, and Zevran shook his head although he knew she wasn't looking and therefore the gesture was wasted.
"I'm sorry my dear Warden, but the man you speak of is not here. I am Zevran, the Crow whose life you very graciously spared. You remember this, yes?"
Lyna shook her head vehemently and clutched closer to Zevran. He looked away, trying to avoid acknowledging that this contact, or affection, or whatever it was, felt damn nice. And they both still had their clothes on. That was a first.
Zevran shook his head. He clearly was in desperate need of a new lover, he was becoming deprived.
"Tamlen, stop being silly," she commanded, stubbornly, but without raising her voice. "I'll introduce you to Zevran in the morning."
The Crow shook his head slowly. "Never let it be said that denial is not a powerful thing," he said, more to himself than the figure in his arms. He adjusted her in his hold, and continued trekking to her tent.
A soft sound from the Warden made Zevran realize that she was not finished speaking. "Also, Zevran wouldn't care about finding me outside. Unless he intended to finish his contract, which I suppose would be possible, although he did have good reasons not to. It would be more likely for him not to care one way or the other where I was," she said, with an air of cautious finality. He fixed his gaze on his commander as his mouth stretched into a bitter twist. It wasn't that she didn't trust him, no, far from it. He knew that. It just gave him a sour taste in his mouth to realize that she believed so much in his indifference.
Apparently she did not require a response from 'Tamlen', as she simply shifted again and subsided into deeper breathing. He hoped that she was truly asleep this time.
Yet the Maker didn't seem to want to let him off so easily. A rustle to his right caused Zevran to turn and look at the offending tent flap, exasperated. A blonde head emerged, and the assassin scowled at the former Templar who had a look upon his face akin to one who had just caught a stranger making out with his sister. Although, Zevran thought, he could see how this could be construed as something similar. The thought inspired a rather pleased expression, but Alistair seemed to feel the need to very rudely interrupt Zevran's happy train of thought.
"What the hell, Zevran!" Alistair sputtered, his voice piercing the silence. "Are you trying to take advantage of her?"
Zevran shook his head as though the thought appalled him, tutting softly at Alistair. "Come now, my friend," he began, "If I wished to seduce my dear Warden I would at least do it whilst she would be awake to enjoy it. Never let it be said I am not a considerate man."
Alistair's face had colors a sunset would envy as anger and embarrassment rendered him speechless. He was still gasping for a response when Lyna shifted yet again, making both men freeze.
The elf decided that now would be a good time to deposit the Warden in his arms back to her tent before she awoke. Turning to Alistair, he sighed theatrically. "Alas, tonight I simply am bringing her back to her tent as she slept in the open; not one of her best decisions, you might wish to note. But you are right, our leader is quite fetching. Perhaps another time, however," he said with a regretful look, sneaking a glance at Alistair, who seemed anything but reassured.
"Good night, my friend," Zevran called back over his shoulder as he walked away, before the Grey Warden could form a coherent threat. "Don't forget, it is time for your watch!" He arrived in front of Lyna's tent, and bent down to open the flap.
He was forced to crouch uncomfortably upon entering due to the low ceiling, and he yet again whispered a string of very colorful words, only barely remembering to keep his voice down. "The things I do for you, commander, they are astounding," he muttered as he eased her slowly onto her bedroll.
To his chagrin, he found she had yet to relinquish his armor, despite the fact that Zevran knew that it could actually be quite sharp if clutched too tightly. "You know my dear, if you wanted me out of my clothes you could have simply asked," he said to occupy himself, as he pried her hands off of the offending armor.
He had just turned away and was opening the flap to make a quick exit when he heard a soft cry of panic behind him. Zevran sighed and maneuvered himself so that he was yet again facing her.
"Tamlen? Where are you going?" she questioned, sounding incredibly vulnerable and childlike, with her eyes still closed. A single tear coursed down her cheek, as her brows furrowed. "Please, don't leave me. Not again… Please."
Zevran turned away, unwilling to watch her anymore. "Do not fret, I shall be here when you wake up," he said regretfully, wishing that he didn't feel so helpless whilst seeing her upset that he would lie to her in order to sooth her fears.
Her lips turned up into the ghost of a smile and she sighed happily, satisfied by his answer. "Okay," she breathed, before lapsing back into slumber.
Lyna woke up to sunlight filtering through the thick walls of her tent, and a feeling of loss.
A quick glance told her what she already knew. She was alone.