This fic is DARKFIC. It explores the characters as they might behave when they are taken to a VERY DARK PLACE. Namely, it explores who Alistair might become married to Anora with Loghain redeemed, and how that would affect the Warden who helped shape his circumstances.

It depicts acts of alcoholism, substance abuse, RAPE, coerced sex, prostitution, and MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH. Content may be triggering and/or offensive to your sensibilities. If any or all of these themes disturbs you, please hit the back button on your browser now.

Five years, the king thought, throwing back a shot of whiskey before making his way to his wife's chamber. Five years since the Blight. Five years of being married to that shrewish termagant, Anora. Five years since Loghain went from being a traitor to a hero with a single thrust of a sword into the archdemon's skull.

Five years of steady decline, drinking himself ever more deeply into oblivion. He'd become the laughing stock of Ferelden. An incompetent king, outshone in every way by his very able queen. A wastrel and a drunkard, likely to humiliate himself at state functions with his baseborn Chantry boy's graces and excessive fondness for spirits. He'd have a reputation for wenching by now, too, if Anora hadn't intervened and ordered his guards not to escort him to any more brothels.

"Get yourself a case of the pox after you've done your duty and made an heir," she sniffed disdainfully, lying on her back in her bed. Her shift was still down and her thighs tightly clamped together. She wouldn't pull the shift up to her hips or open her thighs until the last instant. Impatience was etched on her features as she waited for him to to fumble with the ties of his dressing gown, his drunken fingers clumsy. "Once you've done that, do as you like. It won't matter, because once there's an heir, you'll not touch me again. I want no part of whatever you catch."

Humiliated, he swallowed his bile and forced himself to lay on top of her and thrust until he was spent, squeezing his eyes tightly shut to block out her lovely and loathsome face. Then he donned his dressing gown again while she pointedly ignored him, and left for his own chamber and the whiskey waiting there for him.

Five years.

Five years since he'd been betrayed by the woman he loved.

That was where it had all gone wrong, he thought, gazing at Solona Amell across his desk. The Landsmeet, where she had discarded everything he thought mattered to the two of them to recruit the man responsible for Duncan's death. Now here she was again, in Denerim to attend another Landsmeet, in her capacity as the Arlessa of Amaranthine. But she'd made time to request a private audience with him, and his secretary had arranged it without consulting Alistair.

The whiskey in his tumbler burned a fiery path to his stomach as he glared at her.

"I'm worried about you, Alistair," she murmured, studying him closely. Thanks to his excellent cadre of servants, he was always bathed, barbered, and dressed in clean, well-tailored clothing. But that did not disguise his deep-set, red-rimmed eyes or the heavy stench of spirits that always clung to him. Nor did it prevent the awkward stumbles and faux pas he regularly committed.

"Your concern comes a bit late, Warden-Commander," he jeered. "I'm exactly where you wanted me to be, doing exactly what you wanted me to do."

"You're better than this."

"YOU KNOW NOTHING OF WHAT I AM!" he shouted. He didn't know he intended to throw the glass until it narrowly missed her head and shattered on the stone wall behind her. She cried out as a flying shard cut her cheek, bringing beads of dark blood welling to the surface. They leapt to their feet in unison, Alistair charging her, and Solona readying a spell to defend herself.

She didn't remain on her feet for long. The force with which he smote her sent her to the floor, flattening her and driving the breath from her chest. She was still struggling to catch her breath when he reached her, pinning her down with the weight of his body. He caught her wrists and forced them to the floor beside her head.

"Isn't this what you like?" he rasped, the past and the present overlapping for a moment.

"Force me." Solona pitched her voice low so it wouldn't carry beyond the tent. Not that it mattered; they'd be heard sooner or later, anyway.


"Just for fun," she said with an eager nod. "Pin me down and just take me, as though I were unwilling. I'll struggle and protest a little, but don't stop. Do it."

Somehow he got her robes up to her waist, though she clawed and hit at him with her fists, her mana drained. Her smallclothes he ripped away with a snarling sound as they tore. And then his fingers were plunging inside her while his other hand held her down by the throat.

She was dry and tight but, Maker, every bit as hot as he remembered.

"Is this what it was like with Zevran, after I was gone?" he growled, ramming his fingers in deeper. She struggled and cried out, tears of pain and fear springing to her large, brown eyes. Those tears gave him a malicious satisfaction. Did she know how many he had shed in private after she betrayed him? "Did he play all those dirty games you used to like to teach me?"

"Please, Alistair...!"

Another thrust of his fingers, and it was becoming easier, her body growing wet despite her protests. He thumb found that small spot she'd showed him, the one that made her writhe and scream. She gasped, her body arching, her hips moving as she continued to try to get away. But he knew that response. She had taught him well, taught him what gave her pleasure. He used it against her ruthlessly, touching her just the way she liked it. Soon her sheath was slick and dripping, his hand shining with her moisture.

Alistair sent out another pulse of holy energy, draining whatever was left of her mana and stunning her. While she was stunned, he quickly unlaced his breeches and pushed down his braies. His cock... Maker, his cock hadn't been this hard in years. Some nights with Anora it took agonizing, humiliating minutes to work himself up hard enough to perform his duty on her. Now, however, it was rigid and rampant, a deep, furious shade of red, leaking and quivering with his readiness.

Without a second thought, he flung himself down on top of her. He grabbed that aching, throbbing flesh and guided it to her entrance and thrust deep, deep within.

"Is this how Loghain fucked you?" he demanded in a harsh whisper, his moist, whiskey-laden breath panting directly in her face. Solona coughed and tried to turn away, tears streaming down her face, but he grabbed her hair, wrenching a cry of pain from her, and jerked her around so that he could ravish her mouth as completely as he was taking the rest of her body. Through her robes, he seized one of her nipples and squeezed, hard. "Did he know you like to be hurt at little? Did he know you like your men to whisper vulgar things to you while they have you? Did you spread your legs for him and ask him to lick your dripping quim? Did he fuck you with his tongue, the way I used to? Did you grab his hair and ride his face while you screamed his name?"

"No!" she wept. "No, Alistair, no! Not Zevran! Not Loghain! There was only ever you. Don't ruin that. Please, for the love of the Maker, stop this. I don't want this."

Tears came to his own eyes, then. He kissed her, tenderly, lovingly. "I didn't want what you did to me, either," he murmured gently... and thrust harder. And harder. He hammered into her, over and over, and he knew he was hurting her, being far more rough than she had ever asked him to be when they were together. A part of him hated himself for doing it, but the part of him that had been hating himself for five years didn't care. On he drove, and on, while she screamed and sobbed and begged, and his tears and sweat splashed down onto her face and mingled with her own.

His fingers found that nub again, and with a few strokes, she arched beneath him and shuddered, her sheath rippling and pulsing around him. He came with a choked sob and an agonized groan, the force of his release more painful than pleasurable. It felt as though his seed burned as it spurted into her.

They lay there silently, interlocked on the floor. Solona wept softly, piteously. His cock wilted within her, and slowly his panting faded and the horror of what he had done dawned on him.

He scrambled off her sobbing body, puking violently into a corner. Wiping his mouth, he staggered to the decanter of whiskey and poured himself another glass, downing it in a single shot. He thought he might spew it back up again, but gradually his nausea faded, and with it, his self-loathing.

She had betrayed him, first.

At length, she rose, straightening her robes and flinging her useless smallclothes onto the fire. With trembling hands she tried to straighten her mussed hair, tried to repair her dignity, or at least acquire some semblance of it. It struck another chord of memory, of that day in the Landsmeet when she stared at him, stunned and hurt at his anger when she chose Loghain.

Bile surged up again, and this time he relished it. He let the rage, the hatred consume him.

"You will come here again tomorrow," he said in his best I'm-the-King voice. "Same time. My secretary will be certain I have the morning free."

Solona shook her head, tossing her frizzy, mousy brown hair. How did she manage to do that? he wondered. It had never mattered to him, that her hair was perpetually unkempt, that she was freckled and pale, that her forehead was too broad and the shape of her jaw and teeth practically horse-like. He heard the unkind whispers about her homeliness, but he'd never seen it. From the moment she'd smiled at him with those merry, dark-brown eyes, he'd thought her lovely.

He hated her a little more because of that, because even now, humbled and defeated as she was, she was still beautiful to him.

"You're mad if you think I'll ever be alone with you again," she replied, her voice shaking and choked with tears.

"You'd refuse a royal summons?" he asked, and there was something hateful in his voice. He heard it, and didn't care.

"You can't do this," she protested. "There are laws. I'm an arlessa, I have recourse—"

"You're a mage, masquerading as an arlessa," he shot back. "Go ahead. Bring a charge against me in the Landsmeet. Do you think a single one of them will support you? They may think I'm a buffoon, but there's not one who will take your word over mine."

She hung her head, tears falling upon the breast of her robes. Those beautiful breasts he'd once worshiped.

"Be here again tomorrow," he repeated his edict. "And wear the Chasind robe we once found."