A/N: I wanted to put a more complete warning in the summary but didn't have room. There's no actual physical assault, it's all mind stuff because, you know, the Fade. But I didn't want it to take anybody by surprise.

"My dear, sweet girl. How I've missed you!"

"Leave me be."

"Why don't you come inside, darling. I've made your favorite meal."

"I will not, foul demon. Leave me be."

"Is that any way to talk to your dear mother?"

Morrigan sighed and rubbed her eyes, growing irritable at the soft, indistinct sounds buzzing in her ears, her inability to focus on anything through the odd, ever-present mist, and the demon's pathetic attempts to impersonate Flemeth.

"How lonely I've been without you," the non-Flemeth pouted.

"Demon, if you had made even the slightest attempt to accurately depict my mother, I may have been fooled," she considered this a moment. "Briefly. Maybe. But as it stands, your own nature is your undoing, as you were far too lazy to even try."

Non-Flemeth grew angry. "You should show your mother respect!"

Morrigan rolled her eyes. "I cannot believe the depths of your incompetence. 'Tis not as if Flemeth is unknown to the creatures in the Fade. Do you never speak to one another?"

Non-Flemeth reared back and slapped her sharply across the face. Morrigan laughed. "That's more like it. Unfortunately, 'tis too little, too late."

Just then, a small figure off in the distance caught her eye. The military gait and dirty-blond hair were all-too-familiar. "Finally, you have arrived." she said as Alistair reached her. Though, truth be told, the Warden had arrived much faster than Morrigan had anticipated. Distances were difficult to estimate in this place.

"What's going on?" the Warden blinked, trying struggling to focus as Morrigan did. "I'll help you!"

Morrigan's irritation reached its peak. "Do not be absurd. The day I need the help of a former Templar to escape the Fade is the day I have truly reached my lowest point."

Alistair looked crestfallen, and his pathetic sadness only irritated Morrigan more. "I don't think that's your real mother, Morrigan. I think it's a demon."

"Amazing! You figured out the riddle! Surely without your help I would have been fooled forever" Morrigan waved her arms in irritation as the non-Flemeth's skin began to melt off her face. "I shall kindly ask you to leave me be as well, I more than capable of taking care of myself."

Alistair frowned, his expression even more dull and sullen than normal. "But... hey!" The strange mist began to collect at his ankles and knees. "Where are you going?"

"I am going nowhere, Alistair," she said as if explaining to a child. "It is you who are going somewhere."

"But I don't wan-" and, mercifully, he was gone.

Morrigan turned her attention to non-Flemeth, who was rapidly decaying. The demon attempted to attack her but a well-aimed fireball soon left it in smoldering ruin.

It must have been a trick of the eyes, or another ploy by the demon, but it seemed to be colder and darker now that she was alone. Not willing to give up so easily, she scouted the perimeter of her little island, finding it dull and unremarkable from one end to the other.

Beginning to feel a bit uneasy, she began preparing to shapechange. Perhaps if she looked at it from another creature's eyes, she would have better luck.

But her casting was interrupted by the return of Alistair. "What are you doing?" she demanded.

"I need your help," he implored her. "It's just you, me, Leliana and Oghren in here. You're the only one who can get us out."

"Of course," she kept her tone nonchalant, though the knowledge of the others helplessness pleased her. "Tell me," she smirked, anticipating a truly amusing reply, "what is your brilliant plan to free us all?"

Alistair shifted his weight, looking uncomfortable. "You have to let me... inside you."

"I beg your pardon?" It was even better than she thought. "Did that sort of line work on the initiates back in the chantry?"

"No," he blushed furiously. "That's... not what I mean. I mean you have to let my consciousness inside your body. Then we should be able to break free."

"Really," she tilted her head and crossed her arms, enjoying his discomfort. "And how did you come by this brilliant plan? Your fevered dreams?"

"No!" he blushed even harder, which impressed her. "There was this... this talking mouse and a mage named Niall and they explained it to me."


"Look, I don't pretend to understand these things!" He grew even more flustered. "I'm just telling you what they told me."

"Fine, fine," Morrigan finally decided to take pity on him before his embarrassment induced a fatal apoplexy. "Let's see if we can do this." And she took his hands and placed them on her forehead. "Now just relax, and we shall try to meld consciousnesses."

His whole body went rigid. "I don't understand," he squeaked. "How am I supposed to do that?"

"Just relax. Let me do the work." It had been foolish of her to expect for more.

He relaxed slightly, palms clammy, as she began to open her mind to his. She had to reach her thoughts out, as his had barely budged. Slowly, gently, she drew it into her. He relaxed more. She opened the connection wider, allowing him easier access. Growing impatient, she completely lowered her barriers.

There was a pause for a moment, and Morrigan became aware of something strange. The mind she was accepting wasn't that of a sheltered young man prone to forgetfulness and bad jokes. This mind was older, angrier, more devious and more violent.

She tried to raise her barriers, to close her mind to the intrusion but it was too little, too late. The Pride Demon was too powerful, and it had total control.

Its mind tore into hers like a blunt knife, shredding as it plunged past her conscious and into her subconscious and through her very being. She screamed into the void as she became aware of her body in the waking world, and the demon ripping her away from it.

She collapsed. The Demon disguised as Alistair was gone. The remains of the non-Flemeth were gone. She was utterly alone on the island. Numb, she curled onto her side and stared dead-eyed at the Black City, far off in the horizon.