A/N Hello there! Those of you who read some of my other works probably noticed this is my first attempt at a Dragon Age fanfic. The idea came to me as a joke at first wondering what would happen if the Hero of Ferelden and the Champion of Kirkwall would meet and compare their bands of merry men. Who would have the craziest bunch? Then I started thinking what would happen if said bands would meet and the idea turned from a funny one to a more serious one and this is what came from it. As usual I do not own anything and English is not my native language. Enjoy and please review!

Vigil's Keep was bathed in darkness; its massive shape slightly revealed by the pale light of the full moon adorning the Fereldan sky. In the farthest corner of the citadel a lone light flickered weakly, almost going out as its owner stood hunched over some parchments, reading them with tired eyes. The figure had short hair cropped at the base of her neck, revealing pointy ears. The shuffle of the papers was the only sound in the room, but now and then she, for clearly the shadowed figure was a she would let out a barely audible sigh. For a moment her eyes flickered to the bed that stood so tempting near the desk and the light of the candle revealed a pair of emerald eyes. Deciding enough was enough, the figure rose from her seat and pushed the parchments away. She neatly arranged her chair back in its place, but instead of going to bed she left the room and headed down the narrow hallway, guided by the candles that stood perched on the walls.


A deep voice rang in the hallway and the elf turned around to meet the owner of the voice.

"Is everything all right?"

The man stood in the shadows, but one could still make out his dark eyes and raven hair.

"Yes…and no…" her voice sounded tired as well, though it was clear and soft much like that of a child. "The scout who returned from Kirkwall brought back dire news. Yet nothing can be done now and frankly it shouldn't bother us, though I dare say in one way or the other the Grey Wardens will still be involved. It remains to be seen whether for the better or for the worst."

"I do not wish to sound rude, Commander…" the voice trailed off as the she-elf gave him a stern glare.

"How many times must I ask you to call me by my given name, Nate, at least when there are no other Wardens around? Sigrun and Oghren not included!"

"Very well, Neria! Since you are so adamant that I call you by your given name and considering the fact that we are friends may I point out that it is bloody madness to stay awake until this time of the night,
especially after recovering from a poisoned wound so to read bloody bad news from the Free Marches! Honestly that place is full of scum; it's a wonder if you ever hear any good news!"

The elf, Neria, chuckled, but even that simple movement made her wince in pain, a clear sign that
despite her late night tendencies she was far from healed.

"Bloody nug-humping Hurlock!" she hissed through her teeth and watched a bemused Nate grin in an 'I told you so way.'

"You've clearly spent too much time around Oghren, Commander! Come, I'll walk you back to Anna's room as I believe you were heading there and you can tell me about us about these bad news tomorrow."

Neria smiled as she heard Nathaniel utter the word "us". They had truly become "us", despite the rocky start ten years ago. She had recently been named Arlessa of the Amaranthine and her first move was to gather yet another band of merry men to chase darkspawn across Ferelden. Sometimes she wondered how it would have been to have a group made of sturdy, well trained soldiers? Anders would have probably said it would be too boring for words. As she started moving again, followed closely by Nathaniel she sighed and couldn't help but tell the news she learned from the scout:

"It was Anders actually…" she started, but stopped when Nate snorted and huffed:

"It's always, Anders!" She glanced at him strangely and the other warden shrugged and nodded, adding: "Whenever something went wrong before it was always his fault."

"It's not…" Neria tried to deny the fact, but found no arguments in Anders's defense. "You're right. Anyway this
time is not like the time when he tricked Oghren into drinking all the Orlesian wine in our cellars then blamed it on my mabari. This time is serious… for Andraste's sake he blew up the Kirkwall Chantry!"

"Well… that is a bit extreme! Even for him!" Nathaniel coughed and stopped in front of a tall mahogany door ornate with all sorts of Dalish symbols, courtesy of Velanna.

"All over Thedas the Circle is rebelling against the templars and the Chantry leaving only chaos and blood in
their path. Even the Divine is having a rough time in Orlais! This is serious!"

"Why should it concern us? Grey Wardens have always been neutral. Thus we can gather the necessary troops whenever a Blight appears. Surely they cannot expect us to get involved!"

Neria gave him a long pointed look and the man sighed adding:

"With you around anything is possible. You attract danger and weird people like a magnet. You're right we should prepare, just in case." He opened the door for her and gave the elf woman a small nudge inside. Neria's lips twitched in a smile and turned to him one last time before entering the room.

"Nate get the day off tomorrow. Go see Delilah and her children. Tell Oghren to go see Felsi, Sigrun to go have a walk outside and Velanna to do whatever she does when she is bored. I think we may be facing our last days of freedom for some time now."


He gently shut the door behind her and turned around heading towards his own room. It seemed only yesterday the Commander returned to them after having sought for something, a part of her past, but in fact five years have passed, years that had been filled with mundane fights and occasional darkspawn attacks, nothing like they had face when she first became Commander of the Grey. Now, it seemed that their
peaceful days were over.

Inside the room, Neria walked to the double bed occupying most of the room and gazed softly upon the child
sleeping in it. The child had long, sand blonde hair spread on her pillow like a hallo; she was clutching her pillow tightly in her arms all wrapped in her sky blue blanket. Next to her a similar blanket, painted crimson red looked too inviting to Neria; she simply laid next to the child, still dressed in her casual attire and easily drifted to sleep.