I am so sorry for the very long delay of this final chapter. My only excuse is that I was obsessed with Mirror Images and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Please forgive me and I hope it was worth the wait.
Anders was amazed at how quickly Eva had adapted to this world and how skillful she had become at spell casting in such a short period of time. Darrian felt that Vigil's Keep would be the safest place for Eva to practice magic without arousing the suspicions of the Chantry. So for the past ten months they had been at the Keep. They had made a few visits to Denerim to visit Alex and Alistair, but Eva was relentless in her studies and didn't want to be away from the Keep for long.
At first, Anders taught her several primal spells so that she was not left defenseless when opening the Veil of the Fade. Her three favorites were winter's gasp, cone of cold and stonefist, but it was immediately apparent that her true talents lie with healing spells. They came extremely easy to her and she quickly mastered all of the creation spells that Anders taught her. It was during one of his lessons with her that a benevolent spirit sought her out to use its abilities on her behalf. At first it had frightened Eva and she was worried that something evil had been drawn to her, but Anders explained that these were benign spirits of fortitude, compassion and hope that rarely seek to cross the Veil into our world and that they enable a mage to protect and restore life rather than destroy it. He told her that being a spirit healer was similar to being a physician – it was a calling. From that point on, Eva was highly focused on her studies and although she put in long hours of practice, all of the spell casting made her very aroused and extremely passionate which Anders was the lucky man who fulfilled those desires for her.
They had been together now for little over a year and he was amazed that someone as wonderful and beautiful as Eva hadn't become sick of him and walked away. But he thanked the Maker everyday that she continued to be fooled by him and found it in her heart to love him as unconditionally as she did.
He made his way out to the mage's training ring and found Eva working on spirit spells with two Warden mages. He watched the lean curves of her body as she cast spell after spell and he found himself longing to be alone with her this evening.
"Aaah, there you are," Darrian said as he approached the ring from behind Anders. "I have been looking for you."
"Sorry, I was working with some of the Wardens on their Arcane Warrior skills and I thought it would be best to take a short trip into the Deep Roads for a more hands on approach."
Darrian laughed. "Is that what we are calling those excursions into the Deep Roads now?"
"It's better than Darkspawn Massacring for Beginners," Anders chortled.
"Yes, good very point. The reason I was looking for you was that I received a letter from Alistair this morning. Alex's coronation is at the end of the month and they would like you, Zevran and Nathaniel to go to Alex's world and bring back her father, her brother and Matt so that they can attend those events."
A wicked grin spread across Anders' face, "Oooo, I get to take Zevran to Los Angeles. Did Alistair really think that one through?"
"I'm sure he did, but Alex promised Zev he could go on the next trip, which is why I thought it would be best for Nate to accompany you," Darrian replied.
"You honestly think that Nate will be able to keep Zevran and me under control?"
"No, but I am hoping he will slow you down a little. Besides you are only going to be there for one night," Darrian said.
"One night! Why the hell such a short trip?"
"Because Alex would like to spend as much time with her family as possible," Darrian replied.
"Well, that means we are going to have a very busy night."
"Alex has one more request," Darrian said.
"She's getting awfully demanding as Queen," Anders amused. "What does she want?"
"She would like you to bring back two surf boards and two wet suits. I assume you know what the hell that means," Darrian inquired.
"Screw that, if she found a place to surf, I will be bringing back four boards," Anders retorted.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Huh? Oh yeah, I know what she means," Anders replied a little distracted. He felt the Veil open, but then he felt it be pushed open even further.
There was a loud scream from the practice ring as Sloth demon slid out of the Veil and began to work its way toward Eva. Both Darrian and Anders leapt over the rail, but before they could do anything Eva had froze it and shattered it with a stonefist. Anders quickly cast a sundering spell and the veil closed before anything else could come through. Anders rushed over to check on Eva.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I thought that I could pull just a little more power if I pushed a little harder. I didn't realize," she cried out as looked pleadingly at Anders.
He pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her forehead. "It's okay, Love. You just have to be careful. This is all new to you and I know it's tempting to push the limits, but you need to realize that you can place yourself and others in real danger."
He felt her nod against his chest. "I do. I really do."
He put his arm around her, "I think you have had enough excitement for one day."
"Well, I could stand a little more if you're the one providing it," she cooed as a promising smile spread across her face.
Anders grinned back and led her into the Keep.
The following morning Anders, Zev and Nathaniel stood behind the Keep in an area that they had created for these little excursions into the Fade. They were also joined by Eva and Darrian who would clean up the evidence of the ritual. Once again, Anders began to circle the basin as he read the incantation out loud. After a short period of time the basin began to smoke, than one by one they drank the potion, reached in to touch the lyrium and then each of them were transported into the Fade. Anders led them uneventfully through the Fade; each of them exited the portal and stumbled into Brandon's backyard. Anders looked around, it looked like they had arrived late in the afternoon.
Zev was looking up at the huge house before him. He let out a low whistle, "Very impressive, why didn't someone tell me Alex came from nobility?"
"She isn't a noble. They don't have nobles in this country. Her father has done very well for himself," Anders replied.
"I'll say," Zev replied.
Just then James walked out the back of the house and smiled warmly at them. "We had a feeling you would be dropping by soon. Good to see you again Anders," James said.
"Good to see you again too. James let me introduce a couple of friends of mine and Alex's." Anders pointed to Nate, "This is my fellow Grey Warden, Nathaniel Howe."
Nate extended his hand, "It's nice to finally meet you. I've heard a lot about you."
James shook the stoic man's hand. "Welcome to California, amigo."
"Thank you," Nate replied.
"And this is Zevran Arainai," Anders said.
Zev looked at James' broad shoulders, wavy shoulder length black hair, deep blue eyes, and grinned. "Mmm, and just when I thought this place couldn't get any better, I meet you. The Maker does love me indeed. It's good to see that the delicious gene runs in the Seymour family."
James smiled at him, "Thanks, dude but so you know, we aren't playing on the same team, but you will enjoy meeting my friend Matt. So why don't you come on in."
They head inside and James flipped on the kitchen light. Zev's eyes widened in amazement; he hit the switch and watched the lights turn off, he hit it again and they came back on. Nate stared at the bulb that hung over the counter as Zev flicked the switch. He tapped at it several times trying to figure out how it worked.
"Wow," both of the Feledens whispered.
"If you think that is great wait till you experience indoor plumbing," Anders said.
"What is indoor plumbing?" Nate asked.
Anders just smiled. "Unfortunately, one can be told about indoor plumbing. You have to see it for yourself."
James laughed as he shook his head. "You really like that movie way too much. So how long are you staying before we head to Ferelden?"
"Unfortunately, only one night," Anders grumbled.
"Really? Why such a short visit?" James asked.
"Because the evil Queen is insisting that we bring her family back as soon as possible," Zev muttered.
James laughed. "Evil is she…yep that about sums up my sister. Well, if we only have one night to show you boys the debauchery of LA, then we need to get ready. Anders, your clothes are in the guest bedroom down the hall. Zevran, my sister anticipated you visiting one day and had purchased some clothes for you. You will find them in the guest room across from Anders."
"Really? Alex purchased clothes for me? This I can't wait to see them," Zev replied.
"My sister has excellent taste in men's clothes and now that I see you she was right on the mark. Nate you're about my size, so follow me to my room and you can pick out what you want to wear," James said.
About an hour later they all converged back in the kitchen. James handed each of them a bottle of beer as he looked at the Ferelden Boys' transformation. Anders wore black jeans with a black sweater that buttoned half way down his chest, underneath he wore a thin white collared shirt and left the shirttails hang out at the bottom of the sweater. Typical Anders, he always did prefer to wear black when heading out at night. Nate walked in and James had been surprised at how quickly the aloof man picked up on fashion. He had selected dark jeans, a loose white tunic, a black velvet jacket and added several small black chains around his neck. James was going for a more understated look tonight, he wore dark blue jeans, with a black button down shirt that he wore out over his jeans and black pinstriped vest.
James looked at each of them and smiled. "Well, you boys clean up nicely. The ladies of LA don't stand a chance."
Just then Zev slid into the kitchen. "You're right, your sister has excellent taste. I don't know who this Gucci is, but I think I want to marry him…or her."
Anders started to laugh, "Yes, I do believe Alex knows you well, my friend."
Zev was wearing black jeans with black pointed boots, a tight fitting dark grey V neck t-shirt, black leather jacket that Zev had pushed the sleeves up on and black and grey shiny scarf.
"You are a sharp dressed man," James said admiringly.
After they finished their beers they headed out for dinner before they hit the clubs.
As they walked into the first club of the night, Anders could have sworn that Zev looked like a child discovering a new toy by the way he kept looking at everything with both shock and amazement. Between the flashing lights, the pounding music and the scantly clad women, and even some the men, he had never seen Zev look so happy. A woman walked by wearing tight black leather pants and top that barely covered her breasts while completely exposing her midsection and back.
Zev grabbed Anders by the collar, "I've died and gone to the Golden City. I love Alistair and Alex, but I'm never going back."
"If you promise to play nice, we might be able to convince Alistair and Alex to let us come again some time," Anders said.
"I can't believe that Alistair gave up all this just to sit on some stupid throne. How could he walk away from this?" Zev mused.
"You know Alistair, he's all about duty and somehow I think that Alex had something to do with it too," Nate said.
"How could she give it up? She must have been crazy," Zev chortled.
"Crazy in love, yes," Anders replied.
Just then song changed, a loud squeal went up from the crowd and everyone rushed to the dance floor.
"Aaah, one of my favorite remixes," James said as he lead the group toward the edge of the dance floor for a better view.
The crowd was bumping and grinding, spinning and twirling, Anders laughed when he looked over at Zev. He slid his finger under the elf's chin to help him close his mouth.
"Touch Me And I Feel On Fire, ain't Nothin' Like A Love Desire (Ooh)
I'm Melting (I'm Melting), like Hot Candle Wax Sensation (Ah Sensation) "
"I am loving the lyrics," Zev said as he began to sway to the beat. "And the beat...just makes you want to..."
"Grind against something," Anders offered with a smile.
"Keep On With The Force Don't Stop, don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop, don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
On the screen above their heads, a man in red leather jacket began to dance, he spun around, slid backwards and then stood on his tip toes. Zev smiled, pushed the sleeves of his jacket up, he mimic the moves of the singer on the big screen as he spun around several times, slid backwards as if he was walking on air, the crowd parted as he glided backward toward the center of the dance floor. Once he arrived in the middle, he spun again as he came to a stop at least six girls danced up to him.
Anders and Nate laughed. "It doesn't matter what plain of existence he is on, the girls can't stay away from him," Anders chuckled.
"Are you surprised? The man has got so much skill, he turns it into an art form," Nate said.
"So he is always like that?" James asked.
"Yes!" They both said in unison.
"I thought I was a lady's man, but he needs to give me some lessons," James mused.
After watching Zev woo the ladies on the dance floor for a while, they walked over to the bar and James ordered each of them a Jager Bomb. A smile spread across Anders lips as he said, "Yes, this is the Queen of Ferelden's favorite shot."
James shook his head and grinned, "I will never get used to hearing someone refer to my baby sister as a Queen."
"You should see her, she pulls it off with flare," Anders stated.
"You can say that again. Ferelden has never had a Queen like Alex and never will," Nate stated.
Just then Zev danced up to them and Nate handed him a shot glass, "Oooo, who are we toasting?"
They all looked at each other for a moment then said, "Alex!"
They all raised their glasses, "To the new Queen of Ferelden!"
"Salute!" they all yelled over top the music.
Two girls leaned over and asked, "The Queen of Ferelden, is that the drag show at Backstreet?"
The boys burst out laughing. "Not that I know of, unless, Alex has a secret we don't know about," James chuckled.
"I wonder if Alistair knows. He must have been in for one hell of a surprise," Nate stated.
"Maybe it's Alistair dressed as the Queen," Zev chortled.
"I did hear that he would have willingly danced the Remigold in a dress once, so it's not impossible," Anders said.
"I for one do NOT want to see that man in a dress!" James expressed.
A tall beautiful blond glided up to Anders, "Haven't I seen surfing down at Newport Beach?"
"Aaah, yes, that was me. I take it you're a surfer too," Anders replied.
She ran her hand down Anders chest, "No, but I find surfers just so damn sexy."
"Tiffany, he is also Eva's boyfriend and I'm pretty sure she will kick your ass for hitting on him," James retorted.
"Oh, your Eva's old man. I didn't know," the blond replied.
"Hey, I'm not old!" Anders exclaimed.
"You will be soon if you're dating Eva," Tiffany retorted.
"Don't listen to her, she's a surfer hag," James replied.
"Let's buy her a drink, all hags are welcome in my book," Zev chortled.
"Hey, you're the hunk I saw dancing earlier, right? You definitely have some moves," Tiffany said.
"Aaah, noticed me did you? I've got moves you've never seen before," Zev replied.
"Oh, you do? I'd like to see those," she said as she ran her finger down his arm.
"I see you're making rounds again tonight Tiff, just try not to wear yourself out," James said sarcastically.
"Don't be so hard on her, my dear boy. There is nothing wrong with going after what you want," Zev chuckled.
"Yes, but I would like to return you to your home disease free," James explained.
"She doesn't look sick," Zev questioned.
"Yes, and that is what you need to be concerned about. Look, Alex would kick my ass if I let you take her home. She has a bad rep; they don't call her the village bicycle for nothing," James said.
"Fuck you, James," Tiffany yelled.
"What's a bicycle?" Zev and Nate asked at the same time.
Tiffany looked at them like they were crazy and then stomped off.
Anders looked at his watch and grinned at James, "It's almost one o'clock. Can we go, please?"
"Go where? I like this place," Zev said.
"Hole in the Wall," Anders and James said together.
"What is Hole in the Wall? That doesn't sound like a very nice place," Nate asked.
"Well, it's a very cool bar that is a hole in the wall, but on the weekends they play all this old school rap and dance music and now Anders wants to come back in his next life as a rap star," James explained.
"What's a rap star?" Zev asked.
Anders began to bounce and sway back and forth, "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there's not much left, coz I've been blastin and laughin so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone."
"See what I mean, he thinks he's the next Eminem," James said sarcastically.
"Who's Eminem?" Nate asked.
"That's Shady to you, thank you very much," Anders chuckled.
"Eminem, Slim Shady, one in the same, a white boy who thinks he's black...a mage that thinks he can rap," James said as he shook his head.
Both Zev and Nate looked completely confused, "Huh?"
"You'll see," James said as the turned and headed out the door.
Several hours and many drinks later, all of them stumbled into the house singing "Brass monkey, that funky monkey, brass monkey junkie, that funky monkey".
"Oh Maker, that last bar was great! Now, I understand why it's your favorite, Anders," Nate said.
Stumbling in behind them Zev came in with a stunning brunette on one arm and ravishing redhead on the other. The girls were laughing at something the assassin said, Zev strolled through the kitchen grabbed a bottle of wine and three glasses. He turned and winked at the rest of them, "I will see you boys in the morning."
All of them had stared at him with their mouths hung open. "Aaah, just so you know, high tide is at eight 'o clock, if you wanted to join us," Anders said.
"I'll be there with bells on, my friend," Zev replied.
"I don't care or need to know about your bells, but a wet suit is in your closet," James chuckled. Zev glided out of the room and James muttered, "Lucky bastard."
While shaking their heads and letting out wistful sighs, they said good night and retired to their rooms.
Anders could not contain his excitement at the thought of going surfing again. He had missed it so much that he could hardly sleep. He was up early the next morning, knocking on James, Nate and Zevran's doors to make sure they were up and ready for a blissful day of fun in the sun and some gnarly swells to go along with it.
As he entered the kitchen Anders discovered that James was already awake and brewing coffee as he smiled at Anders, "I knew you wouldn't be asleep for too long,"
"Dude, can you blame me for jonesin'? I've been dreamin' about those killer waves since I left," Anders said as he took a cup of coffee that James handed to him.
"I know, bro. I looked at the forecast there is a gnarly offshore wind blowin'; should make for some epic swells today." James said with a smile, "Are the others up yet?"
"I knocked on their doors to wake them up. If they are not out here in the next thirty minutes I am going without them," Anders joked.
James laughed, "Chill man, the waves aren't going anywhere. Low tide won't roll in till after noon."
Just then the red head that Zev brought home stumbled into the kitchen rubbing her eyes, "Hey I hear you're catchin' some wave actions this morning. Do you have an extra board? I'd love to ride."
James handed her a cup of coffee. "Yeah, I think I can dig up a board for ya, but what are you going to do about a suit?"
She laughed, "I'm a cooha. I keep a suit with me at all times."
James laughed and pointed at her, "I thought you looked familiar. You're that Shea I saw up at Long Beach a few weeks ago, shreddin' up those waves."
She grinned at him, "Yeah that was me. That was a helluva good day! Big Mama was really cookin'."
"My sister might have a board short that might fit you. Let me see if I can find one."
"So is Zev getting up?" Anders asked.
"Aaah, I don't think so. Gabby, is a beach babe so she will bring him down to the beach later on. By the way, I'm Carrie."
"Nice to meet you," James and Anders said in unison and then introduced themselves before they headed off to get ready. An hour later, Anders was paddling out to catch his first ride of the day, being here gave him a sense of freedom that he had never had before and the only thing that would have made it better was if Eva was beside him. It was strange being here without her and the ache to see her again, to hold her swept through him. He was glad they were heading back tonight. He couldn't wait to see her.
Carrie was a sweetheart and took the time to teach Nate the basics before she swam out to catch her first set. Anders had very little time to enjoy the waves and didn't want to waste one minute of it teaching a Barney like Nate. After several hours of non-stop surfing, Anders finally made his way up to the beach, he spotted Zev, he threw his board down beside him and collapsed. He looked out and saw Carrie patiently helping Nate get up on his board. As the two of them rode in side by side she leaped off of her board and onto Nate's.
"You better watch out, bro. Nate is moving in on your real estate," Anders chuckled.
"He's gonna need more than his normal debonair ways to get one of my girls," Zev chortled.
"I don't know about that, some ladies find that whole brooding thing very sexy," Anders retorted.
"All the girls I know just find that boring. They want a man who takes what he wants. Isn't that right, Gabby?"
The brunette lifted her head and smiled, "Taking is nice...it's very nice, but there is something to be said for the brooding, stoic type. It's the mystery, just waiting for the right woman to get them to open up."
Before Zev could reply James came, put down his board and sat down. "Looks like Nate is enjoying himself and Carrie is such a doe."
"A doe? What's a doe?"
Gabby giggled, "She'll be happy you think so."
"What the hell is a doe? We aren't talking about a deer, right?" Zev asked again.
"It's a awesomely cool, gnarly as hell chick," James answered. "Anyone who can ride waves like that is nectar in my book."
As Nate and Carrie made their way toward the group Anders stood up. "All that surfing and I'm starved. Are you ready to go eat Papa Brandon's Breakfast Delight?"
"Hell yeah," James said as he stood and grab his board.
They made their way back to Brandon's house, enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with the girls and spent the afternoon bringing Brandon and James up to date on all that has happened in Ferelden since Alistair and Alex went back. Anders made sure he remembered to take four surf boards and wet suits back with them, cause Alex would surely kill him if he forgot. Not to mention the joy it would bring Eva to claim her board again.
To kill some time Anders popped in a couple of video games to show Nate and Zev; the rogue and the assassin were immediately addicted and spent the rest of the day arguing over whose turn it was to play while James loaded the latest song onto Alex's itouch for her to listen to.
Matt arrived a few hours before they were going to head back. When he entered the house and saw Anders he gave the mage a hug. "It's good to see you, Anders."
"You too, its been too long."
"How are Alex and Eva?" the doctor asked.
"Both are doing well and very excited about seeing you."
A broad smile crossed his handsome face. "I brought the Ununseptium. This should be enough to get a group this large through the Fade," Matt said as he handed him several vials of a blue liquid.
Anders inspected the potions and nodded, "This will be plenty."
"And who do we have here?" Zev asked as he sauntered up to them.
Anders eyes twinkled a little as he made the introduction. "Zev this is Matt Reynolds, one of Alex's best friends. Matt this is Zevran Arainai also a friend of Alex and Alistair's."
Zev smiled his most alluring smile. "Please all of my friends call me Zev and I do hope that you and I will become good friends."
Matt smiled, "Well, I'm looking forward to that."
The two of them spent the rest of their afternoon getting to know each other a little better. It was once again clear to Anders that the elf certainly had an abundance of charm and charisma.
As the sun sank behind the hills all of the would-be travelers changed into medieval clothes and were handed weapons. Preparing for their trip, Brandon and James had begun to extensively train with swords and shields. They knew they weren't as proficient as any of the Ferelden Boys, but they had learned enough to protect themselves.
Matt came out dressed as a noble and had a dagger attached to his side. "I look like one of the crazy people that get dressed up as characters and go to dragon con."
James and Anders laughed, Zev stepped forward and smiled, "You look dashing."
They made their way to the backyard where Anders explained to each of them what they needed to do and how they needed to do it. Anders began to circle the basin as he read the incantation out loud. Nate would go through first then Zev, the rest would follow and Anders would enter the Fade last closing the portal behind him. Anders continued to recite the incantation and after several minutes Anders nodded at Nate that it was time. Nate drank the potion as Anders continued to recite the spell out loud and he poured the tainted potion into the basin. Moments later the basin began to smoke, Anders gave Nate the signal, the rogue reached into the basin; as his hand touched the Ununseptium a bright light leaped out of the basin and onto his hand, the light coursed through him until it completely enveloped him and he disappeared. He repeated the ritual as each member of the party stepped through the portal then he followed them through.
"Whoa, so this is the fade? It looks amazing and weird all at the same time." James asked.
"Yes, please be careful and stick close. Demons won't think twice about attacking at any moment," Anders explained.
"Would you mind if I stick close to you, Mr. Charming Assassin?" Matt asked with both fear and excitement in his voice.
"Stick as close as you want. Protecting a fine fellow such as yourself would only be an honor," Zev chuckled.
As they made their way through the Fade, Anders and Zevran took turns asking the newcomers some questions they would need to be able to answer if asked. Alex sent them some books about Antiva to study up on and Anders explained that their new nobility papers had already been prepared and waiting for them once they reached Ferelden
"Who rules Antiva?" Zevran asked James.
"Why, the Crows of course," he answered.
"Yes, the Crows are the true power in Antiva, but who governs them?" Zevran continued.
"Antiva and the Crows are governed by the merchant Princes, each having a specific location in which they enforce their laws, like banks and trading companies." Brandon answered.
"You are correct my good man, and very well answered." Zevran smiled, he saw the still awestruck expressions and curious glances as they made their way further into the Fade.
"You need to remember the following, you are nobility from Antiva, you hail from a small coastal town called Salle, and live in a castle overlooking one of the largest vineyard known in all of Antiva city," Anders explained. "Memorize it well, or else this whole thing won't work out and we'll place not only ourselves but Alistair and Alex in a very tight spot."
All nodded in understanding as they reached a part of the Fade that made Anders uneasy. He knew that this particular part of the Fade was always plagued by countless desire and rage demons, as if his thoughts weren't even fully formed in his mind, five rage demons and three desire demons surrounded and started closing in on them.
Anders signaled to Zev and called out orders for the others to take defensive positions as he started firing fireballs at the demons with as much strength as he could. He fought off and killed four demons while keeping an eye on all of his companions. He was surprised to see how well the Seymours could hold their own in a fight. Especially a fight against monsters they have never encountered before. He fired off cone of cold spells as Zevran made quick work of sliding up behind the beasts and backstabbing them. Matt stayed as close to Zevran as he could and Anders could see that Zevran was very protective over the man already. James and Brandon fought back to back in order to stay well defended as they sliced through the last two demons that were left standing. The fight was over within minutes when Anders heard James ask, "What the hell were those things? Talk about ugly!,"
"Those were rage demons and we were lucky. We would have been in a really tricky situation if they had been sloth demons. Are you all okay?" Anders asked.
"No, I for one am freaked out of my wits, thank you very much," Matt said as he peeped over Zevran's shoulder.
"Don't worry dear Matt, I would never let any harm befall you. You will always be safe with me," Zevran smile softly at him.
"Come on, we're almost there. Not far to go," Anders said as he turned around and started leading the group towards the exit that would open the portal at Vigil's Keep. One by one he lead each of them through the portal, choosing to be the last to cross the threshold, and breathed a sigh of relief that they all got back in one piece.
Anders stumbled out of the portal and into Nate's back. "Aaah, sorry about that," he muttered as he looked around. It was pitch black and Anders couldn't see a damn thing, but as the moon moved out from behind a cloud he could see the ramparts of the Keep. Good they exited in the exact same spot they had left in. They made their way to the gates of the Keep.
"Halt! What do you want at this hour of night?" The guard asked.
"Something to eat, a warm bed and a pretty girl to cuddle up to," Anders chuckled as he pulled the hood of his travel cloak.
"Oh, Warden Anders, I'm sorry I didn't recognize you," the guard said as he signaled for the gate to be open.
"I believe I can provide the pretty girl part of your request," Eva said as she stepped out of the shadows.
Anders smiled as she ran to him, he scooped her into his arms and kissed her. From behind them he heard, "Daddy!"
As Alex flew by them and jumped into her father's arms. Brandon laughed as he gave his daughter a bear hug and kissed her temple. "Ooooh, I've missed you, Alexa." He set her down and stood back from her, "Let me take a look at you." He grasped her hand and spun her around, "Yes, I do believe you have all the makes of being a Queen."
"Oh Dad, stop," Alex said, slightly embarrassed.
"So do I have to start calling you 'Your Majesty'?" James chuckled.
"You do if you want to keep your head, Big Brother," Alex said as she ran into James outstretched arms.
"It's good to see you again, Sis," James said as he lifted her off of the ground.
"You too, James. How was your trip through the Fade?" Alex asked as her brother set her down.
"That's some fucked up shit," James stated a-matter-of-factly.
Alex chuckled, "Yep, you can say that again."
Alex smacked him. "Ouch, I see you still hit as hard as a man."
"This must be the Queen's family," a distinguished voice came from behind them. "I've heard so much about you."
The turned to see a strong looking elf approach them. Alex smiled, "Darrian, I would love to introduce my family to you."
Alex introduced each of her family members to Darrian before they made their way back into the Keep for a warm meal and a good night's rest before their long trip to Denerim in the morning.
Alistair stood on top of the dais in the Chantry beside the Grand Cleric as Alex made her way toward him while the nobles parted and created a path for her. She looked breathtakingly beautiful and very much the Queen that she was about to be crowned. Her dress was extremely form fitting that emphasized everyone one of delicious curves. The bodice was silver with a low, square neckline and a drop waist that made her torso long, but curvaceous at the same time. The corset was a silver brocade accented with pearls and crystals that sparkled in the candlelight as she gracefully made her way down the aisle. The sleeves and shirt of the dress were made of deep sapphire blue taffeta that elegantly moved with her. She wore her long raven locks down and it framed her gorgeous face. In all the years he had spent living in a barn, those long years training to be a templar, he had never imagined being married to a woman as breathtaking as Alex, let alone that she would love him in return so completely and stand by him through everything. Growing up he had never been allowed to entertain the thought of being King, but if he had, Alex would have been the Queen he pictured by his side.
Her father and brother stood near the front. She paused as each of them embraced her, then she made her way up the dais. Alistair took her arm and led her to stand in front of the Grand Cleric. Alex knelt before her as she read from the Chant of Light, she then offered Alex her blessing and placed the crown on her head.
Alex stood and for the first time faced the people of Ferelden as their Queen. The Grand Cleric spoke loudly to the crowd of nobles, "May I present to you Alexandria Theirin, Queen of Ferelden."
Aloud cheer went up as Alistair pulled her into his arms and kissed her. Then with her arm looped through his, they made their way down to greet their citizens together. They made their way out of the Chantry and walked the streets back to the Palace greeting commoners and nobles alike.
When they arrived at the Palace, they entered the Grand Ballroom to the lavish celebration that both Leliana and Eva had planned. An excellent band, hand picked by Eva, was playing. The royal couple entered the room, Alistair immediately led her to the dance floor and began to spin her around the room as he held her firmly against him.
"I am the luckiest man alive," Alistair said into her ear as he inhaled her delicious scent. "I see your father brought back some of the mouth watering body lotion that I love."
"Yes, he did. I take it I smell appetizing to you," Alex cooed.
"You smell delectable. I don't know how I'm going to make it through the night without pulling you into small room and having my way with you," Alistair moaned as he discretely feathered kisses down her neck.
She giggle, "Now, now, Your Majesty. I do not believe the fine citizens of Ferelden want to see your little highness make an appearance tonight."
"Hey, it's not little," Alistair grumbled.
"Oh, I know it's not. It's majestic, regal, magnificent...should I go on?" she purred against his ear.
"Yes, please do."
"Magnanimous, huh? I like that," Alistair teased.
"Well, then it's settled, Alistair's Magnanimous little Majesty," Alex amused.
When the song ended, duty dictated the the royal couple mingle with their guests. Alistair caught glimpse of her as she socialized with the nobles. He couldn't wait to be alone with her tonight... his Queen, his wife. He saw Anders, Zev, Nate and James standing at the back of the room together. He had not had a chance to ask how their trip to California had gone, so he made his way over to them.
"Your Majesty," they said as they bowed.
"Oh, please stop that, you know how much I hate that," Alistair said.
"Yes, that is why we do it," Zev chortled.
"Well I'm glad that you made it back," Alistair said.
Anders started to hum, bounce and sway and in low voice he rapped, "Guess who's back, back again, Shady's back, tell a friend, guess who's back, guess who's back..."
Alistair furrowed his eyebrows as he looked around the room to see if anyone had noticed the crazy mage. He then looked at James, "Aaah, I take it was old school night at Hole in the Wall?"
"Whatever, gave you that idea?"
"I've created a monster, 'Cause nobody wants to see Anders no more, they want Shady, I'm chopped liver, well if you want Shady, this is what I'll give you," Anders continued.
"Oh, I don't know, the hippity hopping mage beside you, perhaps" Alistair chuckled as he glanced around nervously.
Long fingers came to rest on Anders' shoulder as Eva said, "Listen Slim, now is not the time to busta rhyme. You need to put it on the DL."
Anders shoulders sagged, he looked at Eva and Alistair, "Fo' sho?"
Eva grinned as Alistair said, "Fo' rizzle!"
"You people now how to bring a rapper down," Anders grumbled.
Alistair shook his head and grinned. "I need to keep mingling. Can you keep DJ Jazzy Mage under control?"
"Yes, not a problem," Eva said as she glared at Anders.
Alistair spent the next several hours on his feet talking until his lips were numb. He looked around and couldn't see Alex. He moved through the crowd trying to find her, but didn't see her anywhere. On further inspection, he didn't see any of their friends in the crowd either. He walked over to one of the guards, "Have you seen the Queen?"
"Yes Sire, her brother escorted her out of here about half an hour ago," the guard replied.
"Do you know where they went?" Alistair asked.
"I overheard him say something about a surprise in your private apartment."
Alistair looked around and when no one was looking, he slipped out the side door. He quickly made his way toward their private rooms and the closer he got the louder the bass got. The guards in the hallway were looking around nervously. Alistair reassured them that everything was fine, that the Queen's family had brought some Antivan entertainment with them. Alistair ran his hand nervously through his hair as he approached the royal chambers.
He opened the door and quickly stepped inside. His jaw dropped at the picture before him. The music was loudly pumping through Alex's computer and somehow Anders had found a way or a spell to amplify the machine beyond what is was capable of. Alistair didn't recognize the song so it must be one of the new ones that James had added.
"Now what (What), we're taking control, we get what we want, we do what you don't,
Dirt and glitter cover the floor, we're pretty and sick, we're young and we're bored (Ha)
It's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out, this place about to blow
Tonight we're taking names 'cause we don't mess around"
Anders and Eva were also putting a very impressive light show as James, Zev, Matt, Alex, Darrian, Nate...and holy shit was that Fergus dancing with Leliana?
Anders walked up to him and smiled, "Welcome to the goody room!"
"The Goody Room?"
"Yes, The goody room. A place to have some fun, without any preachy mother or stiff necked nobles standing in our way,"
"Was this your idea, Anders?"
"Only if you like it," Anders replied.
Another song Alistair didn't recognize began to play and anger and frustration coursed through him.
"I got freaky, freaky, baby, I was chillin? with my ladies, I didn't come to get bougie
I came here to get crazy, I was born to get wiiild, that's my styyyle
If you didn't know that, well, baby, now you know now"
It was this type of behavior that would raise questions and bring unwanted suspicion, but when he looked into the sheer joy on his wife's face as she danced around the room with her friends his anger melted away. She had willingly left her home, her family, her world to be with him. How could he deny her a few comforts from her old life.
"I've had the time of my life, and I've never felt this way before, and I swear this is true
And I owe it all to you, I've had the time of my life
And I've never felt this way before, and I swear this is true, and I owe it all to you"
The lyrics of the song hit home and the song couldn't have been more perfect for this day and everyday here after with her in his life. She had changed him completely, she had showed him things that he never even dreamed could be real. She had risked everything and had given up everything for him. She was everything to him, he loved her unconditionally and he would do anything to make her happy. So if dancing around to loud music with her friends made her happy then he would find an explanation for all of this.
He made his way over to his wife, slid up behind her, wrapped his arm around her waist and just as the chorus started again, he sang in her ear, "I've had the time of my life, and I've never felt this way before, and I swear this is true, and I owe it all to you."
Being raised in a republic society and seeing that form of government in action Alistair found that form of government very intriguing. So Alex taught Alistair those ideals and in small ways Alistair began to make minor changes that began to change the mindset of the citizens. It was a slow process, but after a time, the people the began to recognize that the inalienable rights of individuals should extend to all races. It took time, but the King and Queen of Ferelden brought about monumental changes by creating a country that was based on freedom for all.
As a physician, Alex recognized the importance of understanding the human body and its physiology. She worked closely with the circle, training its healers and giving them a more in-depth understanding of medicine. Healers and physicians began to work closely together and provided better care for individuals.
Wild rumors circulated amongst the Palace staff of loud pulsating music coming from the royal apartments and in hush whispers it was said that the Queen could be seen dancing wildly about from the courtyard below. Shortly after that story was started Alistair had ordered the courtyard below to be cleared on such occasions when the Queen needed some privacy.
It was obvious to everyone that met the royal couple, Alistair and Alex were very much in love. Unlike previous monarchs they enjoyed their privacy. They purchased property along the Ferelden Coast and would spend several weekends a month there. The royal guards reported that the royal couple and their friends would swim out in the ocean with strange looking boards then stand on them as the waves brought them back into shore. The most scandalizing part of the rumor was that when the Queen rode on these boards, only female guards were allowed to be present because of the revealing attire the Queen wore for these excursions. Also, twice a year the King and Queen of Ferelden completely disappeared for two weeks. Teryn Cousland was named temporary Regent during these disappearances.
Alistair and Alex sat down with Darrian and explained the cure for the Taint and how his daughter's blood was the key to unlocking and controlling the taint. They explained that Sienna manipulated cells to enable their blood to sustain and maintain control over the tainted cells, preventing the taint from becoming the disease that eventually over took their bodies forcing them into the Deep Roads. Darrian was astounded and Morrigan's words came back to him, that their daughter would change the world as they knew it. At first, Darrian wanted to proceed with caution, they offered the cure only to the Ferelden Wardens. Alex and Eva wanted to study the outcomes scientifically in a small controlled group before it was offered to the masses. They sent blood sample back through the Fade for Matt to examine and study under a microscope. Years later, once Darrian felt secure with results, he informed Weisshaupt of the discovery, however he refused to reveal the source of the manipulated cells.
Eva continued in her studies and with Anders as her instructor, she excelled at healing. Anders and Eva traveled frequently between Ferelden and Los Angeles where the couple had opened a free "healing" clinic.
Zev accompanied Anders on many of these regular trips between the two worlds. His superior dance skills made him quite popular at the clubs, with both the ladies and the men, but he had become a one man elf and was completely devoted to the doctor that stole his heart.
During their free time, when not playing video games, Anders and Zev wrote down their adventures during the Blight and the Architect/Brood Mother war. One evening at a club, the two met a software developer who found the Ferelden Boys fascinating. As they shared their story with the man he thought it would make a fantastic game. The three of them worked non-stop on the development of the game and eventually sold it to a large gaming company...and the rest as they say is history!
A/N - Surfer lingo - Cooha - Gnarly surfer girl
Shea - a term for a crazy girl surfer who is very good
Big Mama - the Ocean
Barney - A person who doesn't know what their doing or a beginner.
*Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man. I am a very visual person so when I set out to dress the Ferelden Boys for their night out on the town, I looked online for some inspiration. I have listed their outfits below. I hope you found them as yummy as I did!
Nate: ht tp :/ / www . graphicshunt . com /images/victoria_and_david_
Anders: ht tp : / / i . dailymail . co . uk/i/pix/2009/06/11/article-1192292-054F571C000005DC-768_468x435 . jpg
Zev: ht tp: / / gucci-review. com/wp-content /uploads /2009/10/09.10.26 .jpg
James: ht tp : / /3 . bp . blogspot . com /-76A9TRvXLz4 /TdqRQ lLiACI /AAAAAAAAALk /Z9T70N2wcOI/s1600/ Nice +Fashion +of+Justin+T imberlake . jpg
* I want to thank everyone that followed this story and supported it. I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
*Last, but never least I want to thank the betalicious Jinxy for helping with this chapter and cracking the whip to finish it…you know how I love a smacked bottom! ; )