Been thinking about this all day. May or may not be a multi-chapter.

Rated T, I own nothing, I read a great fanfic that had this style and I loved it, please R&R


For five years you have stood by his side. This has been both literal and figurative, as you have traipsed around Ferelden fighting dark spawn or nobles in equal measure. You have shared your days with him, and also passion filled nights. You have loved him more than the air you breathe, and in an effort to prove that love; you slew the Arch demon so he would not be in danger.

You've seen his face in the early morning light. Particularly, you have seen that crease his eyes gain when he smiles. It was you that held him fast after Duncan and the others, Wardens you had no attachment to, were betrayed on the battlefield.

You have heard songs of your exploits, and sometimes you wonder how many of them bare the artwork of Leliana.

You were once a Cousland, and now you are the High Queen Elissa Theirin.

The people greet you with praise and awe wherever you go. At one point, it was an embarrassing endeavor you had to muddle through, but now you take it with a grain of salt the size of Par Vollen. It has not escaped your attention that everything now leaves you feeling somehow hollow. You are the hero of Ferelden, the Commander of the Grey Wardens, the Champion of Redcliffe, the Savior of the Circle, Blessed by the Dwarven Ancestors for your prowess in battle, and the Queen of Ferleden.

You are all these things, and yet you find pleasure in so very little.

You feel stifled every day. As if you are a mere ghost of your former self. It pains you every morning that you wake wondering what life might have been like had you refused Morrigan's offer. It worries you when you start to imagine if life would have been better with Alistair dead.

Alistair loves you, and you think you might still love him. It has been hard for you to even remember between standing like an expensive doll at meetings and acting as the iconic figure of Ferelden valor. You loathe it to the point that it frightens you. You tell yourself over and over again that you should be grateful. There are not many people in all of Thedas that are as blessed as you. For how many beings could claim to have everything at their disposal?

But, you had that once before, it is tucked away in those memories you try not to think about. The ones where Fergus still has a family, and you still had parents. The same memories where Ser Gilmore smiles at you in that innocent way that made your heart beat so fast you were sure the hounds could hear it.

Sometimes, not all that often but it has been getting more frequent, you remember everything that went wrong. And, you do mean everything. Its not the tainted dreams that bother you, but the ones of the people you didn't save. Or the choices you could have made that might have impacted the world. Sometimes, you just wonder why. Why was it you? Why did the Architect taint the Old God that year? Why was it you and Alistair lost and fumbling along with a rag-tag bunch of adventurers?

Why did you say you would rule alongside him?

He is a good man, and you remind yourself of that constantly. It might be the only reason you haven't left yet. Even though you don't know where you would even go for Ferelden has always been your home. You were raised for this possibility, and you wonder if your mother would have been proud at what you became. You care for this man you call husband, but that passion has long since cooled and now you look at him more like a brother than anything else.

You are relieved when they called you away from Denerim. You are always relieved.

You have had your chances, many more than you can count, to betray your vows. There have even been times that you were tempted, but you never did. You couldn't. You had a duty to fulfill as his wife. You have a responsibility as the mother of his son.

Alistair had told you it would be hard, and it had taken three long years to conceive. You had foolishly told yourself that the child might help the apathy you were feeling. But your son, so small and infinitely precious, just makes you want to leave all the more. Your son looks like his father, you see it every time you look at him. No one can ever say he is not of Theirin blood. However, it brings you no comfort when you cannot figure out why you dislike the fact your son looks just like his father.

And by the Maker above you have tried. You have tried to love Alistair like you once did. You have tried so bloody hard to be good and faithful. You have spent nights in silent prayer, begging and pleading to feel for him again.

Yet, each night passes and still you feel the same.

Your smile still lights a room, and you know it is only because you have practiced it so much in the looking glass. Your behavior is always warm and pleasant, like it was when you two had just started to be friends.

Everyone comments at how easy it is to tell that he loves you. You know he does, that has never been in question. The people adore seeing the King love his Queen so obviously. Yet, you do not like it. It makes you feel obligated to do more somehow, and you are just so damn tired. You chastise yourself for picturing someone else's face; a face that changes every time, when he touches you. Lovemaking has lost its appeal for you some time ago, and you simply don't know how to tell him.

You think back to Zevran's offer that one night in camp. The night you have never discussed with your husband. You wonder if you would have been happier keeping him from the crows, or letting him stare at you luridly every night. But, such thoughts only make you itch inside to escape.

It becomes very hard for you to be at the castle with him. You feel as if you are acting the part of husband and wife, while he clearly believes everything between you is better than wonderful. He is your shield, and you are his sword. Generations of Cousland blood will never allow you to forget that. You are meant to serve the King of Ferelden, however he may need you.

And, you have always been dutiful.

Your Amaranthine wardens adore you too. You always have time for them, and upon occasion you draw them out into conversation so you will not have to leave for Denerim any sooner than you have to. You truly did miss Oghren, he was always a character, and are glad to spend time listening to his stories. You think out of anyone he might understand the best. He too has a spouse and child that make him feel trapped somehow.

It occurs to you late one night, as you are ready to cross the city gates, that you do feel trapped. You, Elissa Theirin, cannot escape no matter where you run. Your face is too widely known, and what would your son think of you when he grows? What would your life be like with no one? And, are you really prepared to miss your child growing up? Besides, you cannot just leave the King of Ferelden because you are unhappy.

Could you?

There was never a foe you could not slay, nor a challenge you could not overcome until now. It feels as if you are drowning in a sea of stagnation. However, you have everything from excitement to someone's love.

But, it is not enough.

You lead your horse to the stable; the hour is far too late to wake someone up for one horse. It doesn't matter that you're the Queen; you had manners drilled into your head for far too long and waking someone now would be rude. The tackle slips off the beast easily, and you cannot help but ponder it all out.

If… if you did leave, what would happen?

You know that the country would be up in arms over your loss, and things have never quite been the same since the Blight. Therefore, it would be a blow to moral, but otherwise the kingdom was well under control. You had seen to that as had Arl Eamon.

It's not as if you don't love Alistair, you do. However, some part of you knows it's not the way he needs you to love him anymore. And, when you are completely honest with yourself, after you have lain down for the night away from him in the bed you share, you have been thinking about this for a very long time.

The beast nickers softly, and it draws your attention. You give it a scratch behind the ears in a small show of affection. But your mind still reels. No one, except the gate guards has seen you return. Alistair has long since given up the tradition of waiting up for you. The feeling of sickness hits your stomach as you recognize you are plotting on how to leave. You are the Queen of Ferelden, Alistair is your husband and a good man. Your son slumbers in his bed with the image of you and his father near his heart, no doubt.

It is treason, what you think of.

It is wrong, and you know it. You know it burns at the back of your throat stronger than bile to remain, but you stay. You have nowhere to flee, no coin to your name in truth. Your family bred you for such an honor, and even though you are a peerless warrior, you feel helpless somehow.

You feel so lost as why you cannot simply be happy and content with so much. There are others, too numerous to count, that would gladly murder to be in your place. Men and women both, though that thought is somewhat humorous, it does not detract from your original thoughts.

It hits you then, that you truly could just leave. You would never betray the crown, or harm the kingdom in anyway. Sure, you would be declared a deserter to the Wardens, but they can only sense you as you sense them. There must be some way you could-

Then you stop, because this is foolish and you know it.

But perhaps, all you need is time? There have been so many dire situations in your life for the past six years, five of them spent married to the King. Because he is the King now, your Cousland upbringing won't let you see him as anything else. In truth you haven't seen him as Alistair since he told you he was Maric's bastard, though you tried valiantly to pretend otherwise.

And, as you stop to dwell upon it, you have never simply had time for yourself. It causes you to be a little self-pitying and angry. You have given so much for King and country, surly you can have a fortnight to spare for yourself?

After all, you are the Queen and any inn in Ferelden will allow you to stay and pay for the board later.

You look at the horse that has been patiently standing in front of you, watching his black tail flicker under the dim light. You bite your lips, and it stings a little from the force. You know you can always send word of your location later.

The tackle slides back on before you realize what you are doing. Your mind is in a haze and you aren't really even all that aware that you have left your belongings on the stable floor as you swing your leg over to mount the horse.

The beast is confused, but then again so are you.

The thrum of adrenaline sings in your veins, and you grip the reigns harder than absolutely necessary. Your knees shake just as much as they did when you first saw the 'Risen Andraste', but just like then you know what you have to do.

The kick to the horse's sides spur it forward with a leap, and suddenly you are laughing. You cannot recall the last time you laughed. It is you, out in the night with a horse and a sword against the world. For the first time there is no pressing duty and no dark spawn threat. For a single moment of whimsy, you feel a surge of your old self return before it is gone.

And, then you are racing as if the hounds of the Black city are after you. The horse is nearly flying across the cobblestones as you urge it to go faster, and farther than you have been by yourself in years. You're sure anyone who sees you will be thoroughly startled, but you just don't care anymore. You haven't cared in months. Or was it years?

Just as you pass the gate to the outside world once again, you give the rudest gesture. One that surely would have had your mother berating you for days on end if she were living. You give it proudly and with a large grin.

"To your majesty!," you cry with jubilation you didn't know you could feel as the horse carries you into the night.