For The Love Of Magic

By: TracyCook

Disclaimer: I own nothing. These characters belong to the creator of Dragon Age 2.

Couple: Merrill/Bethany

Rating: M

Chapter 1

Midnight Meeting

The group of travelers had set up camp deep in the woodlands, atop Sundermount. Upon arriving in the mountains, the Elven race had not been the most accepting of them. They did not want the humans staying in their land for an extended period of time, but because they were there on a mission to save one of their kind, they had made an exception.

Most of the others in her group had been focused on how the Dalish were treating them, but honestly Bethany had expected as much. They still carried a deep grudge toward all of humankind because of the past. What shocked her more than how they had treated their group was the way that the elves had treated one of their own.

Bethany stared up at the stars as she thought about the young Dalish elf that had joined their party for the mission. She was to be their guide through the caves.

She attempted numerous times to figure out why they treated her as such, why they separated her from the group, why they cast her out. She could sense that Merrill had the gift of magic. 'Or rather the curse of magic…' She internally berated the powers that she possessed and the damage that they had caused her and her family. That alone was not enough to make the other elves hate her, magic was not hated in their clans, so she assumed that it must be dark magic that she possessed.

"There must be something so evil inside of the poor girl to prompt them to disown her." Bethany muttered out to herself, sadly. She too had considered using her gift to kill the ones who destroyed her kind, but she had not fallen into the dark arts.

Still, she could fully comprehend the temptation.

When Bethany had met the young elf, she had sensed a demonic presence. Being a mage herself, she understood that the powers that were to be used for good could easily be used for evil. But, she could tell that Merrill was not evil. She had been tempted to use blood magic for some reason or another, she could tell by her fidgety shifty attitude and her large bloodshot eyes, but she was not trying to hurt anyone.

Whatever her reasoning was for using the dark arts, she thought she was doing good with this power. Unbeknownst to her, blood magic could never be used for good because it corrupted her each and every hour of the day.

Within time she would be destroyed by the power.

It was an age old tragic tale of the woman who was driven mad with power whilst attempting to save the world. Bethany wished that she could save the innocent elven woman.

"It is not my place though. I need to focus on saving my family." She reminded herself aloud as her beautiful hazel eyes glanced from star to star. They shined so brightly when they were in the mountains and away from civilization. It was beautiful.

Letting out a soft sigh she rolled over onto her side, resting her cheek against her arm for support against the dirt and gravel. She cast her eyes toward her sister, Hawke, who was sleeping beside the bright fire. Her sister was an admirable woman. She had done so much for her, and for her family, during their travels from Ferelden to Kirkwall.

Bethany had broken down as she watched their brother Carver get killed by the ogre in the wilds, but her sister had not. She was so strong through it all, through every single battle, emotional and physical. Truthfully, Bethany had never felt that she lived up to her sister's expectations. She was a mere mage with simple magic abilities, nothing like her. Regardless, she always gave her all and tried her hardest to measure up.

Suddenly, she sat up straight, throwing her covers from her body. She could have sworn that she had heard something moving around in the foliage surrounding the campgrounds.

Bethany stood to her feet and reached for the staff that was resting against one of the large rocks beside her sleeping bag. Standing completely still, she listened closely for the direction of the movement, debating on whether she should wake her sister or not. If it were just a single enemy she could probably kill it alone.

Her ears perked up as she heard the sound again, it was coming from the North.

Glancing back over her shoulder at her sister who was still peacefully sleeping, Bethany let out a soft sigh and decided to let her rest. She needed to regain her energy and she was certain that she could handle it.

She started toward the sound, remaining as quiet as possible.

As she reached the origin-point of the sound she crept slowly toward it, watching her footing in order to ensure that she did not snap any twigs and alert the enemy to her presence. Her best attack approach would be to kill it with her magic without its knowledge.

The sound of crying sobered her fears; she was now worried instead of frightened for their safety. She immediately recognized the accent as one of the Dalish, they all sounded similar and unique in their way of speech. Slowly, she made her way closer to the sounds and she noticed that the sound was coming from none other than Merrill.

She was sitting on a log in the middle of a clearing in the forest, looking down into her shaking hands, large green eyes filled with tears that fell down her tattoo covered cheeks.

Bethany's heart shattered at the sight. No one should ever look so vulnerable and broken.

"Oh gods…" She whispered out softly to herself.

Having better hearing than a human due to her elongated ears, the elf hastily wiped the tears away from her pale cheeks and forced a smile onto her lips, turning to see who was standing behind her. Although, she was fairly sure that she already knew who the voice belonged to. It was the beautiful young human mage that was in her party.

"Aneth ara, Bethany." She said.

It made Bethany smile knowing that Merrill felt close enough to her to actually use the greeting that was traditionally only shared amongst the Dalish. "Hello, Merrill." She said gently as she made her way over to the log, taking a seat beside her. Turning she allowed her hazel eyes to wander over the other's pale face and puffy eyes.

When silence began to overtake the two women, the babbling elf felt the need to fill in the awkward silence. She looked toward Bethany and asked her, "What are you doing out here all alone tonight? It is dangerous—oh! Not that you are not strong enough to take care of yourself or to wander off alone I was simply curious, I suppose I'm a hypocrite asking such a thing. I'll shut up now." She giggled and nervously glanced away from the dark eyes that were watching her as she rambled.

"Well, I am not necessarily alone Merrill. You are here with me." Bethany pointed out in a caring tone of voice, a genuine smile gracing her features. She found it cute that the other rambled when she was anxious. 'Wait, did I just think of her as cute…? That is rather peculiar…'

"That is true." She said quickly. "You are here with me, and I am here with you, therefore neither of us are alone." Merrill reiterated the obvious, offering a smile in return. It was not often that she felt safe, but under those beautiful hazel eyes and that perfect smile, she did.

It was nice feeling as though she could speak openly about anything without receiving any judgment, this feeling was a pleasant change from the other people in the human world. Even the elves judged her on occasion.

Bethany laughed and shook her head at her friend. Sometimes, it seemed that Merrill could be so naïve that it was like talking to a child. Yet, she found that she liked this quality in her.

"Very true."

For a moment they both sat in a comfortable silence, neither able to find the right words to express what they wanted to say, neither of them even knowing what it was that they wanted to say. Bethany wanted to ask the elf why she had been crying, but she did not wish to be too forward with her. It was not her place to impose. They were not all that close after all.

After a moment of pondering these thoughts, the human decided to simply speak her mind. "Merrill, I saw you before."

"Oh." She whispered out softly. "That—I-I was simply—" She babbled, her accented voice trailing off at a loss of explanation.

"You were crying." Bethany finished the sentence for her, reaching out and placing a hand over the other's cold thin hand, trying her best to comfort her with the action and show her that she was there for her. Oddly enough, Merrill's face darkened with a blush and her breathing picked up. Bethany just assumed that she was not used to the physical contact. 'Why else would she react that way?'

"I would really like to know why you were crying, Merrill."

Her hands started to shake as she tried to think of how to explain all of the conflicting emotions and feelings that were running through her mind. They made her feel chaotic. Suddenly, she felt a thumb brush against her hand and her blush deepened as she realized that the brown eyed mage was stroking her hand. She found it oddly soothing. Along with this soothing sensation, there was another sensation that shot through her body, warming her. It was almost a romantic feeling, but that could not be possible, they hardly knew each other.

Letting out a breath that she had not known she had been holding, the elven woman started explaining her feelings to the best of her ability.

"I am terrified, Bethany. I don't want to put you all in danger. My people have completely abandoned me and have made me feel like what I am doing is a terrible mistake, but I know it is for the best. I must know about our past, it is the only way to save my kind. Still, it kills me knowing that they do not want me around—and the human lands—" She paused and glanced over at the brunette, laughing a little, "—aren't what I had expected at all."

Bethany nodded and smiled. "Yes, I understand that the city is nothing like this mountaintop." She continued to stroke Merrill's finger with her thumb as she spoke. "Sometimes I wish that I could get away from the hustle and bustle, the terrible water, and the crowds, and simply come up here and watch the stars."

"Oh, how I love the stars." She said, her green eyes widening with awe and her voice full of marvel as she glanced up at the sparkling dots that littered the dark sky.

"As do I." Bethany said with laughter on her tongue as she looked over to watch the childish elf staring up at the sky and kicking her feet against the log. Her face appeared so innocent, it nearly broke her heart. How was it possible that someone so small and defenseless could have such a heavy burden to carry on her shoulders?

Turning her hazel eyes once again to the sky she smiled and squeezed down gently on Merrill's hand.

"Thank you for coming out here." Merrill breathed out as she leant her head against the other woman's shoulder.

Bethany's heart started to race quickly, as she felt heated breath rush against her shoulder and the exposed flesh of her neck. It surprisingly caused a shiver to rush down her spine and her body to shake. She did not understand why she was suddenly having all of these feelings toward another woman. She had never found women or elves particularly attractive prior to this. "To be honest, I thought that you were a fiend."

"True, but you still stayed long after you found out I was not a monster, and I thank you for that." She said in a happy, but dreary voice. Her eyes started to close and she felt the need for sleep start to consume her body.

Laughing softly under her breath, Bethany closed her eyes and smiled contentedly. "You are very welcome Merrill."

For just a few minutes they sat there, finding comfort and safety in each other's closeness. The young mage even resisted the urge to place a kiss upon the elf's forehead. As she realized what she was about to do, she halted herself. "We should probably get back to the campgrounds."

"Ooh! But I was so comfortable, you have very soft shoulders." Merrill whined out childishly.

Shaking her head, Bethany stood to her feet and turned to face the beautiful elven woman who was now wearing a pout on her lips. "Thank you, I think." She laughed. "Now, come on. We need our rest if we are to climb this mountain in the morn."

"Oh, alright, if you insist." She said, standing to her feet and walking alongside the other woman.

Both women started to head back toward the campgrounds, when suddenly Merrill nearly tripped over her own feet. She felt a soft and warm hand take ahold of her own and she knew that it belonged to Bethany. The simple skin on skin contact brought a smile to her face and a blush to her cheeks and the tips of her ears. Merrill had not smiled so much in quite some time, also she found that her mind was no longer racing with worries when Bethany was touching her, it was as if they were the only ones that existed.

She noted that Bethany never let go of her hand.

Once they reached the campsite, hazel eyes glanced toward green before darting down to their hands that were still connected. Bethany hastily broke the contact and blushed brightly as she spoke up. "Well then, goodnight Merrill."

Yet, as she turned to leave the elf alone to rest, she felt a hand reach out and grasp her own, tugging her back.

"Stay with me?"

D

Authors Note: 6,000 fanfics for this game and this is the first for this couple! Gasps! I feel so crazy for writing this haha. Maybe y'all will not appreciate and love this couple like I do, but I hope that you guys do! Please leave me some reviews to encourage me to keep on writing if you like it, because I doubt it will be all that popular. :p

-Tracy Cook