This took forever. I'm so sorry. XP Real life is just kicking my butt a lot right now, but here it is, better late than never

Man of Virtue

Summary: "Has anyone ever told you how handsome you are?" "Yes, but those women were…not like you." In which Templar Initiate Alistair proves that he's a good boy, even when he doesn't want to be. For the seven virtues challenge, chastity.

A/N: Many thanks to Jade for being a quick and awesome beta for me! 3 you girl. :D

His first kiss belongs to a whore named Tamilla, whom he meets on the wrong side of Denerim one dark and stormy night.

"Heya handsome," she says to him, running a finger down the front of his shirt. He's not used to physical contact, much less the kind that comes from beautiful women, and so he takes a step back. "You look lost."

He islost: this is sonot the Chantry where he's supposed to be, but it's his first night in Denerim and it's easy to get confused in Ferelden's capital, especially in the dark, heavy rain. But Tamilla takes his hand and drags him inside out of the rain, and so begins Alistair's first visit to the Pearl.

Inside it is far warmer and more inviting that it looks outside. There is a fire blazing in the hearth, soft pillows on the floor, and the smell of ale filtering through the air. The brothel is not very full tonight—there is a young man at the bar, drinking away his sorrow and flirting with whoever walks by, and an older man reading the paper, as though he's lost all interest in the beauty of the world that surrounds him and comes to the Pearl simply out of habit. In the far corner of the room, another man with a beard watches him, curiously. The madame of the house looks him over, eyes appraising, and he doesn't know if it's because she's pitying him, or whether it's because she can smell silver a mile away.

Turns out, it's neither. "Get him a towel, Tam, before he ruins the carpet." And then his guide is gone and he finds himself alone in a brothel, soaking wet and being watched.

He doesn't remain alone for long. "My, but he ispretty." A girl, cute, blonde, and elvish, with her hair still in pigtails, bounces up beside him, eyeing him like a piece of meat. "Why does Tam always get the good ones?"

But the madame doesn't answer her, instead focusing on the half-drunk man at the bar, leaving him alone with the blonde-haired beast.

"You're cute," the elf whispers, standing far too close and looking far too pretty. "Why'd you want to spend the night with someone old like Tam? I bet you I could show you a farbetter time than she ever could."

He blinks, horrified, and steps away from the girl. He doesn't want to spend the night with anyone—he's here for the Tournament, not to spend the night in some brothel. More importantly, he's a Templar (well, he's an initiate, technically) and they have rules about this sort of thing, rules about fraternization, about chastity, about sin.

Before he can explain, however, Tam returns, a towel in one hand and another on her hip. "Get back, Sissy, before I break that arm of yours."

The elf girl pouts but complies, slinking off back to the bar. Tam walks up to him and gives him the towel, and he takes a moment to actually look at his would-be savior. She's very pretty—long dark hair, pale skin, and a graceful neck—and for all Sissy complained about Tam's age, she doesn't look a day over thirty. Which makes Alistair feel even more nervous because he's barely nineteen and these women show far, farmore skin than even the most lax lay sister ever would. It makes him nervous, and not in an entirely unpleasant way.

"Ma'am," he whispers, jittery and a little sweaty. "I'm not—I think there has been some mist—"

But then she kisses him, and everything changes.

Pressed against the wall in the dark hallway, he can do nothing but kiss her, exploring her hot, willing mouth with his own. It feels good, kissing. He's never done this before and wonders if he's terrible at it, but if Tam is displeased, she doesn't act like it. Instead she moans, hands buried in his hair, and his body reacts, tightens, arouses, wanting nothing more than to take this woman down the hallway into an empty room, drop her on the bed and have his way with her.

It would be very easy for him to break his vows and sleep with her. No one would know, and it may be his only chance before he's stuck in the Tower forever. Even the sternest and most virtuous of his brothers wouldn't be able to resist the beautiful brunette and her ample bosom pressed tightly against him. Besides, he's not a Templar yet—he's taken no vows, owes the Maker no allegiance for the quality of his soul ahead of time.

But lust is a sin. And while he may not have taken his vows yet, he will soon.

This iswrong.

He pushes her away slowly. It's one of the hardest things he has ever done.

"I can't do this." He breathes, and his shoulders relax with the confession.

"Why not?" She leans into him closer, her brown eyes narrowing at him. "What's wrong?"

"You are very lovely," he explains as gently as he can, stepping away from her slowly. "But I'm a Templar. I'm not allowed to—um, you know—"

Have sex. Kiss beautiful women. Have any sort of…unchaste thoughts.

At first he thinks she's going to hit him, but then her gaze softens, as though she realizes something about him that he hasn't quite figured out yet. "You're the honorable sort, aren't you? A real gentleman."

"Yeah, I guess I am." He's never really thought of himself as a gentleman before, but it sounds nice. Fitting, even. Alistair, the gentleman. It sounds right.

Much better than Alistair, the eternal virgin, at least.

Tam leans forward and kisses his cheek. "If you ever decide to stop being the honorable sort, you come see me, alright?"


And then she's gone, and he's alone in an empty hallway of a brothel, still reeling from his first kiss and the thought of what just occurred. Wonderful. I'm an idiot.

"That was rather noble of you, you know?"

Alistair whirls, and meets the eyes of the bearded man from before. "Excuse me?"

The man ignores him. "The world could use more men like you. Men who are true to their word and will honor a vow they haven't even taken yet. You did the right thing."

Alistair blinks. "Look, I don't know who you are but—"

The man just smiles. "It will be interesting to see you fight tomorrow, young Alistair."

"Bu—how do you know my name?"

But the bearded man was gone, and Alistair was alone once again with nothing but his sense of virtue keeping him company.