i do not own dragon age or the characters, etc, etc

vignettes, post DA:O, pre DA:OA. might be a sort of loose story here, but i'm just making stuff up as i go along. whoosh. etc.

01. A Soldier True and Steadfast

"I never thought duty would taste so bitter."

- Ser Cauthrien, The Landsmeet

Blade swings and blood splatters.

Her fingers itch, muscles tense up, a howl in her head screaming revenge and betrayal. They fell to my sword before, she thinks, pulling into a sprint. They can fall again.

They will.

But she does not reach for the traitor, the puppeteer. The silver tongued bastard of Denerim, a wisp of a creature who dueled her liege with daggers after shaming him in his own court. Face a real soldier, she wants to shout. A soldier true, you knife-ear backstabber, not a Teyrn too many wars past his last battlefield duel.

She reaches instead for Anora Mac Tir, holds her steady and wipes the blood from her queen's face. Her sword is willing and there is enough hate in her to fell this entire court of charlatans and fraudsters, but her stays her sword and stays her tongue and waits at her queen's side. A soldier true and steadfast, for her queen if not for her fallen Teyrn. No matter what dark things her blood sings for.

I asked for mercy, my queen. I asked them to stop your father and I begged them for mercy.

Anora Mac Tir did the same, she expects. Betrayed her father to save Ferelden. Betrayed her father to keep him alive should the worst come to pass.

And now the Teyrn lies dead, his legacy corrupted by ugly necessities. What's to keep the warden and the Arl of Redcliffe from installing their precious bastard puppet to the throne all by himself? What's to keep them from betraying her queen right now?

"If they come for you, my lady," she whispers, "Keep behind me and keep the wall to your back. My men are still loyal to you, we can find you an escape route..."

"Hold fast, Ser," Anora says, hand pressed over her glove. Smiles a thin smile, ghastly and blood tinted and beautiful and Cauthrien remembers whose daughter Anora Mac Tir is. "There is a plan. We are not lost. And," a sideways glance, catching her eyes, "I would rather you lived. I will need someone to trust, in the days ahead."

"My lady," she says.

Later, during the coronation of the new King and Queen Theirin, she wonders if she traded a regicide for a patricide. Too late by then. Her queen owns her, willing body and guilt sheared soul and all the storms within.