Author's Note: And, now for the Alistair angst. He is my favorite character, so it was only a matter of time :p
You know that feeling you get when you're restless, and nothing you write sounds good to you? This was one of those times. Eventually I just had to stop and say, "Ugh. This isn't working. I need to do something different." So, I did. I wanted this piece to feel disconnected and confused, just as Alistair is, so I figured this style was the best for that. I am new to it though, though, so if you see something wrong or anything that could use work, please point it out to me. I'm always looking to improve, if possible.
The title is inspired by the song "Missing" by Evanescence. I was listening to music while trying to come up with one, and then that song came on and I realized just how much it reminds me of the Alistair in my story. Didn't plan it that way, but that's how it worked in the end, because it fits.
On with the story!
Please, please forgive me,
But I won't be home again.
Maybe someday you'll look up,
And, barely conscious, you'll say to no one:
'Isn't something missing?'
He wants to run, but he knows he can't. He wants to scream, but he knows he must suffer in silence. He wants to wash it all away, but he knows he deserves whatever he gets.
He is a bastard, and that means he is nothing.
After five minutes of weathering the storm, his clothes are soaked and sticking to his skin. The tremors rip through him as he huddles outside the stable door, bleeding all warmth away until he feels nothing but ice stealing into his bones. That makes him cry harder, even though his chest hurts.
He wants to stop, but he can't breathe.
The rain continues to crash around him, and it's just rain, but he's scared. He wants the tears to stop too, but they fall as quickly as the rain does.
He doesn't know why he's here, but then, he has nowhere else to go anyway.
He's tired and hungry, and cold, but that is his place. He belongs out here with everything else that time simply forgot, because there isn't a single person in the world who truly remembers him. Arl Eamon isn't cruel, but he doesn't really care. Lady Isolde despises him, longs to be rid of him, and eagerly, she waits.
He is unwanted, and he knows that better than anyone.
So he huddles alone in the freezing rain outside of that stable door, wraps his arms around his knees, shuts his eyes tight against the wind as his tears are swept away. He wants to go inside, maybe play with the horses for a while, but they don't belong to him either. Here he sits and here he'll stay.
It won't matter if he dies. He's not worth anything.
The storm rages on and he loses track of time, but he's there long enough for the winds to settle and the downpour to slow. His head slumps onto his knees as he sits with his back against the wall, rickety wood rough and unforgiving against his skin. He's not shivering anymore. He suspects he doesn't have the strength.
He hopes they build him a pyre once he's dead. Then he kicks himself for the thought, because he knows better than that.
His vision is getting fuzzier and fuzzier now. It's nighttime, but he can still tell. He's so cold and he should be scared, and he would be if it seemed worth the effort. All he can feel is numb, and he's far too tired to change that.
Broken sobs rasp from his ruined throat despite himself, and he curls into the tightest fetal position he can manage with stiffened, frozen limbs.
He doesn't know who he's fooling, but it certainly isn't himself. He's still scared. Of course he's still scared. And the thing that hits him hardest is the fact that no one cares. No one cares at all, and it isn't fair.
He wants someone to hold him. He wants someone to care. He wants to be important…to anyone who might look up and notice when he isn't there. But if this child knows anything, he knows what he can't have, and this time, what he can't have shatters his lonely little heart.
Only one hope comforts him. A desperate hope, that maybe if he goes to sleep he can stay that way forever.
The world fades away, and he along with it. Before he notices what's happening, he hardly remembers his own name. But then, his name means nothing anyway. Everyone just calls him, 'boy.' It doesn't hurt anymore. He doesn't understand why. He's just glad the pain is fading away.
Suddenly, he hears someone shouting and he struggles to open his eyes. A bright light shines among the gathering darkness, and he thinks he must be dreaming then.
He is invisible, and no one can see what isn't there, can they?
Someone is leaning over him. Asking him a question, he thinks, but he can't hear the words. He also thinks he knows him, but he can't grasp a name to go with the face. The man has kind blue eyes and reddish-brown hair, but more than that, his muddled brain cannot decipher. Whoever the mystery man is though, he seems alarmed. His words are distant and the child just can't catch them.
A flurry of movement…a rushing of hands, and suddenly, he is wrapped in something woolen and soft. He feels himself being grabbed up in a rush, and then he is floating, overwhelmed with the sensation of a person holding him close. Perhaps he should wonder where he is going, but his mind is clouded and it's so hard to think.
Perhaps this man is no man at all, but an angel, welcoming him into the Maker's Golden City. An angel, taking him away to a place of dreams and magical, beautiful things. Or it could be a devilish magister instead, dragging him through the depths of hell, laughing merrily as the flames rise up to claim him.
Either way, he's not afraid anymore.
Does this mean he gets to meet his mother?
Whatever he is, the man seems frantic now. The child has to stop and wonder why. Does he not he know that his kindness is wasted? Can he not see the boy he holds in his arms is meant for suffering? It's really no one's fault. It just is. He wishes this angel/devil wouldn't look at him with such despair. Is he an angel then? A devil would be laughing, wouldn't he?
He wants to tell the angel not to bother. To leave this scrap of a boy to his fate in the mud and cold, but he can't find his voice.
No one listens to him anyway. Why start talking now?
Time passes in a haze of confusing visions and distorted colors, although as he regains himself, he thinks he hears a word or two along with the mumbled nonsense. He hears the strange angel/man with the kind blue eyes screaming. He hears him crying, "Alistair!" and somehow, the world seems a little bit warmer again.
Alistair. Is that his name, then?
When next he is fully aware, he finds himself lying in a soft, luxurious bed, nestled close to a stone hearth where a fire burns within. There are woven comforters and quilts piled on top of him. His throat feels scratchy, and his head hurts too. Despite the blankets, there is a chill within that seems to penetrate all the way down to his bones, and he burrows further underneath the covers in search of warmth. Suddenly, he's stricken by all that has happened. He feels as if he's been sick for days, but somehow he knows he won't die anymore.
Alistair remembers, and he's almost disappointed. It would have been nice to see his mother.
He wants to know what it's like to have someone who loves you.
All thoughts cease when he hears raised voices from another room, and even after he identifies them, he still doesn't know what to make of them. Arl Eamon and his angel/man are arguing; Alistair thinks it's about him, but he doesn't understand why. He manages to catch the words, "Maric," "hanged," and "neglect." He hears phrases like, "He's just a child!" and "Eamon, how could you?"
The angel sounds furious and Alistair doesn't get it. He tries to remember, to listen when he can, but he only makes out snippets of disconnected words, and suddenly, he is more confused than ever when he realizes who his 'angel' is.
Why in Andraste's name is Bann Teagan here, and why is he yelling like that?
Soon enough, however, despite his curiosity, the pull of drowsiness is simply too great, and Alistair finds himself drifting into a pleasant sort of limbo. Not quite asleep, but not awake either. A contented sigh escapes his lips as he sinks deeper into the downy bed covers, eyelids drooping heavily. It's strange to sleep on something other than hay. He expects it should throw him off, but he's too exhausted to be bothered.
Alistair is nearly unconscious when somewhere in the distance, he hears a door creak. He thinks he feels a hand moving through his hair, tucking the covers more tightly around him and gently caressing his cheek. Impossible. That only happens to children with parents who tuck them in at night.
"Rest, Alistair." Teagan sits beside his bed, taking one small hand within a larger, warmer one.
The unloved child gives a lazy sort of half-smile.
He has no one who cares and he never will, but maybe just this once, it would be fun to pretend for a while.
So, there we have it. What did you think? I was playing Dragon Age: Origins again, and it really hit me that Teagan was the only one who seemed to give a damn about what Alistair wanted. I don't understand how he could see the way he was treated as a child, and not do something. This stemmed from that. Well, that and a video I saw on YouTube, depicting Alistair sleeping with the hounds. So sad ;_;
Anyway. As such, I am planning a companion piece that is to be from Teagan's point of view, and finally, my questions will be answered along with yours. How much did Teagan see, and why didn't he do something about it?
Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks so much for reading! Reviews are appreciated ^_^