Dear reader, this is going to be my first attempt at writing a MLP fanfiction, so I'm just going to go over a few things about the story here. 1. This story will be in a universe were all our pony friends are humans, it's crucial to the story so I want to make the point. 2. This is indeed a crossover with Dragon age origins so here is what I will be using or what's going on. Our main character (Gunther) is the human noble from dragon age, who defeated the blight and stuff. I should also explain more of his decisions in the story. I am really just cutting and pasting the character into Equestria, so you guys don't need to have much knowledge on DA.I should stop with this and just let the story speak for itself. I hope you readers enjoy.

Chapter 1

Denerim

The Blight. A terrible creation made by solely to destroy the human world and all its creations. And at the head of the blight is the Archdemon; nothing short of a god in the physical form of a terrifying dragon. For centuries the blight let it's darkspawn up from the bowels of the world and onto the realm of men to burn everything in their path, leaving no traces of human existence behind them. Humanity was ultimately doomed if not for the heroic efforts of the ones who called themselves Grey Wardens; an alliance of men, elves and dwarves who defended the world of the living from these blights, saving the world from utter destruction every time. The last blight ended just about a year ago; it ended with the destruction of the great Archdemon at the hands of a young soul from a noble house. In fact, it was never this boy's intention to become a grey warden at all, only recent events forced it upon him, but he accepted his fate none the less. The noble defeated the Archdemon at the great battle of Denerim with the help of many friends who he had met along the way. Leading the heroic charge into the overrun city, the warden and his friends fought against unimaginable odds. Motivated by the courage his hastily made army showed, the grey warden slew the Archdemon; but slaying an Archdemon did not come without a price. Death was the price of slaying such a beast as powerful as an Archdemon; prepared for his fate, the warden waited for the end as he struck the final blow to the dragon. But the end did not come. The warden's friend gave his life another chance at living, and he accepted it. With the Blight defeated and the land reunited, the people of Ferelden rejoiced, planning the slow reconstruction of the lands that were lost due to the darkspawn.

After all the celebrations of the defeated darkspawn, the warden found himself at the docks of the city. he stood silently, staring off onto the open sea. He thought quietly on what he might do with his life; what life could he possibly live now that his duty was ended? A light breeze rushed around him and through his short auburn hair. Behind him, a young man, but older than the warden, clad in ordinate plate armor walked up slowly next to the warden. He noticed the deep thought the noble was in, but decided to interrupt him anyway.

"You know I heard that if you stared at the road long enough, it magically becomes shorter" said the man with added sarcasm. The warden turned his head to see his visitor. Upon seeing his face the warden became startled and quickly turned his body to face the man, then did a short bow.

"My king" the warden addressed with his head down. "I did not know you were here"

"What?" he asked with intensity. "And miss you leaving without telling anyone? I wouldn't miss that for the world" he joked.

The warden rose from his bow to face the king. "I'm sorry Alistair, I should have told you" he said in a very apologetic tone.

"So Gunther, what are you planning on doing?" he asked, changing the subject. "Do you plan on going home?"

"No" Gunther said softly, turning his gaze back out to the sea. "My old life was destroyed; I don't have much of a home to go back to"

"Oh that's right, I forgot about what Howe did to Highever" Alistair replied, remembering the greed of Howe and how he destroyed and killed everything in Highever, including the warden's parents. Alistair looked to the back of the warden. He noticed he still carried the shield of Highever, and also the Cousland family sword. "Well, you still carry that sword and shield, I guess not everything was lost"

The warden's eyes went back to Alistair, "yes of course" he said smiling, "some things will never be forgotten"

"You still haven't answered my question" asked Alistair with a quizzical look on his face.

"There are stil remnants of the darkspawn out in the world, and probably some traveled across the sea. So I will find them. People shouldn't be reminded of these times; they have enough to worry about." Answered the Warden. "The closest country is probably the land of Equestria. That's where I will go"

"There's no changing your mind then" Alistair asked rhetorically. "You will always be welcome here as long as I am king."

"Thank you Alistair, you are already a great king" said Gunther; he turned his body to face Alistair in preparation for his next words. "I can't thank you enough for being my friend all this time; you were like a brother to me, thank you" he said with sincerity.

"Ah, don't mention it" Alistair said embarassed, then pulled Gunther into a short hug. Their armor clanging against each other as their bodies hit. "You were my best friend too you know" he said while releasing him. silence overtook the two and the sounds of their surroundings became clearer. In the distance, a captain was shouting orders at his crewmen. Gunther looked behind him towards the docks, remembering that it was almost time to depart. He turned around to face Alistair again.

"Well I should be off" said Gunther. He began his walk down to the docks, then yelled a final goodbye at the king "goodbye Alistair! don't burn down the country while I'm gone!"

"You don't have to tell me! Anora will be breathing down my back for the rest of my life!" Alistair yelled back". Then Gunther turned and continued his way to the docks, and his new journey, to Equestria.

2 weeks later

Outskirts of the Everfree Forest

It was a sunny Tuesday morning, not a cloud in the sky, and not a better day for a young student to travel into the forest for some research material. Twilight Sparkle noted to herself on what a beautiful day it was, but brought her attention back to her task at hand. Elfroot, deep mushrooms, and fire crystals. She reminded herself as she gracefully walked towards the dark forest. Her studies weren't limited to just lessons on friendship, she always valued good experimenting in herbalism. Almost immediately, she saw a fallen tree at the edge of the forest, and noticed many mushrooms growing on its trunk. She walked over to the tree and opened the satchel she was carrying and began picking the mushrooms. Minutes passed before she felt content with the amount of mushrooms she had picked, though before she lifted herself up, she noticed she was in the shade, when before it was completely sunny out. She stood up and turned around to see what might have caused this change in weather. She turned around to see the chest of a humanoid creature wearing a pale armor of stung together metals. Twilight took a step back and slowly turned her gaze to the face of her "visitor". His face looked rotten and bloated with pestilence, he had wicked pointed teeth and a pair of devilish red eyes. The student reared in fear of this being, remembering pictures in a book she once read about creatures of the forgotten lands, this was without a doubt a Hurlock. He took a step forward and reached for her, but before he could take hold of her, twilight concentrated for a moment and teleported out of reach of the creature. Still facing the creature, twilight began running in the opposite direction of the darkspawn. In less than a moment her body crashed into something. After gathering herself after her impact, she saw another darkspawn in front of her; this one was carrying a staff of diseased wood that was decorated with fetishes and other unholy symbols. Behind the Hurlock Emissary stood two more Hurlocks, wielding curved swords and shields. The Emissary chuckled in its deep voice, finding the fear in its prey amusing. He pushed twilight off her feet and onto the grass of the forest clearing. More and more darkspawn were moving out of the forest, including the smaller ones, the Genlocks. Twilight's body froze at the sight she was seeing as a small army gathered before her eyes. The Emissary raised his staff into the air and began reciting an incantation in a foul tongue.

A war cry was heard beyond Twilight, causing the three darkspawn in front of her to turn their attention towards the intruder. Twilight saw in awe as an axe slammed into the face of the Emissary, the force causing its neck to be pushed backwards. Blood shot out from the Emissary's head and onto the face of the fear stricken student. The emissary fell down with the axe still embedded into its skull. Twilight turned her head to face whoever it was who through the axe, and so did the rest of the darkspawn; a young man wearing silver chainmail armor was running towards twilight's position wielding only a shield with an unfamiliar crest on it. He had a sword on his back, but did not draw it as his focus was on the darkspawn who lingered over Twilight. The man then prepared to attack the two Hurlocks who stood over Twilight; he added his free hand to his shield and drove his shield into the Hurlock's upper body. Twilight heard a sharp crack of bones snapping as the creature was hit off its feet and landed onto the ground. the other Hurlock charged at the knight, preparing a overhead swing of his sword. The knight punched the Hurlock in the face with his armored fist, breaking the jaw of it, then made a slicing motion with his shield across the neck of the darkspawn. The creature dropped its sword and shield and clung to its severed neck as it tried to fight the quick death it was given.

The knight ran over to the fallen Emissary's body and wrenched out the war axe from its broken skull, then turned his attention to the student on the ground.

"My lady!" he said with urgency in his voice. He sheathed his axe on his hip. "Can you make it to safety?" the knight then offered his hand to the fallen girl. She accepted it and he pulled her to her feet.

"Well yes, but…" she tried to reply, she wanted to offer her help, but she had already proven herself to more of a damsel in distress.

"Please hurry, I fear there are more yet to come" he cut her off. "Run!" the knight turned to face the edge of the forest were the other darkspawn stood to watch the spectacle. Twilight nodded and ran away from the forest, but she had no intentions of leaving. Twilight found a large boulder to hide behind, and she did so quickly. She had a good view of the knight who was facing the now horde of darkspawn. There were at least fifteen darkspawn spread out at the edge of the forest, but this did not seem to have any effect on the knight. Then in a growl of anger, three of the darkspawn charged towards the knight. The knight also charged to meet them head on; with his shield arm in front he made the first impact. He slammed his shield into the stomach of a Hurlock, and then he slashed at its ankle with his axe. The darkspawn fell to one knee, and then was quickly executed by the knight.

Twilight saw from the distance the Hurlock's head fall off its shoulders and then fall to the ground, with its body shortly following. The next Hurlock hacked at the knight with a wicked axe; the knight parried the blade off his shield and slashed across the darkspawn's face with his own axe. The last darkspawn, a Genlock, ran up behind the falling Hurlock and began a overhead chop with his sword. With his shield on the other side of the knight, he had to instead parry with his axe. the Genlock's momentum overpowered the knights strength, forcing his axe to the ground. The knight whipped his shield around and hit the Genlock square in the face, causing it to become stunned for a moment. The knight took this opportunity to slam his axe onto the Genlock's head, causing its skull to crack open, spraying the area with blood. The knight had to use his shield to pry his axe out of the Genlock's brain before it dropped on the ground.

This feat of bravery and skill stunned both the darkspawn and Twilight, as she found herself with her mouth open in awe. The darkspawn began to back up in fear of the knight's wrath. The knight looked up to face the rest of the horde; all but one retreated into the forest, the last one, clearly the leader, raised a horn from its side to its mouth. The darkspawn blew the horn for a few seconds before letting it fall to its side again; the darkspawn smiled, and then let a soft chuckle to himself before retreating to the forest with the rest of his kin.

Once the darkspawn were out of sight, Twilight stood up from behind her hiding spot. She ran towards the knight, but he kept his eyes focused on the forest. Twilight ran up and slowed down as she approached the knight's back.

"umm, thank you" she said softly, hoping to gain the knight's attention. "I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't shown up like you did."

The knight turned around to face the young student, instantly noticing her bright purple hair and flawlessly white skin. A bit taken back by this, he tried to conjure a reply. "It was, uh, really nothing" he said quite embarrassed.

"Nothing?" she questioned. "You just faced a small horde of, well, whatever they were like it was nothing! You just saved my life and I don't even know your name"

"You make me sound like I am a hero." He said, and then answered her question. "My name in Gunther of Highever, umm" he paused to scratch the back of his head in embarrassment. "What's your name?"

"Oh me? My name is Twilight Sparkle" she paused to look around at the fallen Darkspawn, around their bodies blood painted the ground, dying the grass a deep red. "Are these what I think they are? Darkspawn?"

"Yes" Gunther replied. "I'm surprised someone over here knows what they are."

A confused look came across Twilight's face. "what do you mean this side-" but then was cut off by Gunther's hand, he looked behind towards the forest. "What is it? I don't see anything" she whispered. Gunther did not answer, he was focusing on what he was feeling; the taint within him was causing him to sense a nearby Darkspawn, although it was huge, not like the Hurlocks or Genlocks. Gunther turned himself to face the forest and whatever was coming, he drew his axe from his belt and raised his shield.

"Please hide again, lady Twilight" he commanded, still facing the forest.

"I don't understand what's out there-"But before she could finish, a giant beast leapt over the tree line and landed just feet in front of Gunther. The beast had wicked horns that came out of his head that went wild in direction. It wore spiked gauntlets and bore sharp teeth. The beast looked down upon Gunther, the two trading stares. It took a deep breath and in an act of power, the Ogre roared ferociously into Gunther's face, causing Gunther to wince at the sound, but he stood his ground. Twilight covered her ears and winced.

The beast then quickly grabbed Gunther off the ground. Its claws stabbing him in his back, causing Gunther to cough blood. The beast squeezed its prisoner in its strong hand, raising his other one to strike his prey. Gunther felt his shield arm crack, he yelled out in pain.

"Damn you!" Gunther cursed trying to free himself with his good hand. Twilight had to act fast; she focused hard and filled her hands with her magic. She lifted a litter of nearby rocks, then launching them at the Ogre's face. the rocks pelted its face with great force, one even hit it directly in the eye. It roared in pain as it dropped Gunther to clutch its bleeding eye. Gunther hit the ground, but quickly raised himself; he dropped his axe after he was grabbed, so he drew the sword on his back. It flickered with holy fire as a ethereal blue flame wrapped around the blade. The beast saw the glowing of the knight's sword, and focused its attention back on Gunther, but it was not quick enough to evade what Gunther was already doing. The knight was quickly under the Ogre and slashed at its ankle, his sword searing the beast's thick skin as it cut through. Gunther then jumped up high, stabbing the great beast in the heart. Warm blood splattered on Gunther's face as the Ogre fell, with Gunther still on top of it. On its back, the beast lashed out in pain as blood cascaded out of its body; Gunther then ripped his bloody sword out of the Ogre, then quickly stabbing the beast right between the eyes. The beast stopped its lashing and fell silent. Gunther slowly took his sword out of the beast's head and jumped down onto the grass. The force on the landing caused his wounds to shoot pain all around his body. He then clutched his bleeding side as he fell to one knee.

"Gunther!" cried Twilight as she ran over to help the wounded knight. She eased Gunther to a lying position on the grass. "Hold on, I know a bit of healing magic" she said. She closed her eyes trying to remember her healing spell, and then filling her hands with a white energy as she covered the wounded knight's stomach with her hands. Gunther felt the healing effects almost instantly; he looked over to twilight who was very focused on his wounds at the moment. He noticed her clothes were stained with darkspawn blood.

"Sorry about your clothes" apologized Gunther.

"What?" she said with a surprised laugh. She then looked down at her clothes. She was wearing a long sleeved white blouse with a purple skirt, the blouse showing the worst of the stains. She turned her attention back to her healing. "Don't worry about those. Besides, you just saved my life; I don't care if my clothes got ruined." She paused for a moment; she stopped the bleeding in one of his wounds, she then moved on to the other wound caused by the Ogre's claw. "You're going to fine, I was able to stop the bleeding, but we should still get you to a hospital." She looked at gunther's face who seemed distracted. His eyes were looking off into the distance but his mind was in the clouds. "you're not from here are you?" she asked. Gunther moved his eyes to meet Twilight's gaze.

"Not really" he answered. "What gave it away?"

"Well the biggest one is earlier you said 'over here' which must mean you aren't from here right?" she said.

"You're right, I only recently got here" replied Gunther, twilight was intently listening, wanted to learn all about her heroic rescuer. "I am from the country of Feralden, have you heard of it?"

Twilight's eyes lit up. "You mean you're from the lost world?" she asked enthusiastically. "I didn't think anything was over there, I want to know everything; the princess would be so interested in you!"

"I'd love to tell you but…"he said, not finishing his sentence.

"Oh right, I'm sorry, I just got carried away," she said, most of his major wounds had stopped bleeding from twilight's healing. "Do you think you can walk? We should go to the hospital as quickly as possible"

"Alright" said Gunther. He used his good hand to push himself up from his lying position. He then made it to his feet for a few moments. Twilight watched him carefully to make sure he was fine to walk. Gunther then started picking up his weapons and sheathing them, including taking his shield off his broken hand to carry it on his back. Then one of his wounds reopened and he began to fall, until twilight caught him under his arm.

"Don't worry, I have you" she said, helping him back up, but still holding him with his arm around her shoulder for support. "Let's just take it easy and make it to the hospital in one piece, alright?" and they began slowly moving towards Ponyville together.

Some time passed and twilight began noticing how young Gunther looked. He probably wasn't much older than herself, but his skill in battle spoke otherwise. "Hey could I ask you something?" asked twilight. They were still limping along the road into Ponyville, they have not passed any other people yet.

"Sure" he forced out; his pain was obvious, he even had trouble speaking.

"How old are you?" she asked. Gunther looked at her quizzically. "I mean you look like a normal teenager, but you act like a strong adult" she added.

"You really think so?" he said, laughing a bit internally.. "I'm eighteen" Gunther thought about what he had just said. Eighteen. Most men his age were just now going out into the world to gain their knighthood, not ending blights or leading armies. "What about you?" Gunther asked.

"I'm nineteen" twilight said. "For the record, you act very mature for your age" she added.

"I don't know about that, but thank you" he said smiling as best as he could in his condition. Twilight blushed a little at how kind he was to her even though he risked his life to save her. The two walked in silence for a while; twilight didn't want to strain Gunther any more with her silly questions. And after quite a bit of walking, the two made it to the hospital in Ponyville. The doctors took over right away after seeing his condition; he became quite weak after losing so much blood along the way to the hospital. Gunther was moved to a hospital room where they first removed his broken armor, and began cleaning his wounds. A doctor noted that if it wasn't for the first aid Twilight administered, Gunther would surely be dead.

When the doctors began stitching his wounds, twilight left the hospital, but told Gunther she would be back later for sure. She left and went back to the library were she was met by all of her friends.

"Twilight, darling, what happended? We heard you were at the hospital" said Rarity, a very well dressed blue haired woman. "We all got worried but we were told you were coming back here" she said. She was standing in the main library next to Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie, and Applejack.

"Don't worry, I'm fine" replied twilight "but thanks for your concern" she said gratefully, these were truly her best friends for their support every time she was in trouble.

"You don't look fine!" said a rainbow haired woman. Rainbow's wings were tucked neatly behind her back, hardly noticeable to a unsuspecting person. "You have blood all over you!" she said pointing at Twilight's blouse.

"Oh right…heh heh" she said embarrassed that she continued to wear her dirty shirt around town. "None of it is mine"

"If it's not yours then..." asked Fluttershy softly.

"I really don't have time to explain, I'm sorry" said twilight. Remembering she couldn't just leave Gunther all alone at the hospital. The rest of her friends just looked at each other, asking the same questions to each other. Twilight ran up the stairs to her room, past a sleeping baby dragon. twilight looked at her clock on the wall, and noticed it was almost nine, she had been at the hospital for quite a long time. She quickly changed into some clean clothes and ran back down.

"I'm sorry guys," she started. "I told him I would be back, and it's getting late. If you guys want to come along I'm sure he would be fine with it" she said.

"Hold your horse's girl" said Applejack. "Who is this guy, do we know him? Why is he at the hospital?"

"I'll spare you the details along the way, let's go" she replied. Then they all left to go visit twilight's rescuer. Along the way, twilight told them the abridged version of her day and what happened.

They arrived at the hospital all caught up with what had transpired during the battle. They group arrived at Gunther's room in the hospital.

"I should go in first guys" suggested Twilight, everyone nodded in agreement. Twilight slowly walked in, trying not to startle the wounded knight. She saw him lying upright on the bed. Bandages covered almost his entire chest, and his left arm was in a sling. A nurse was changing some of his bandages on his chest. He noticed her walk in, and a smile crept onto his face.

"My lady, twilight" he addressed. The nurse finished bandaging Gunther and quickly moved out of the room to give them privacy.

"You know you can just call me twilight," she said with a giggle. She had never been addressed as "lady" before, it seemed foreign to her, but she thought it was cute the way he said it. "But anyway, I came to check up on you, and I brought my friends, is that okay with you?"

"Yes of course" he replied. Twilight called in her friends, and they walked in to see the wounded knight. Fluttershy was a little startled at how badly his injuries were, the rest just seemed relieved that he was alright.

"Everyone, this is Gunther" said twilight. Then she went to introduce her friends to Gunther. "And this is applejack, fluttershy, Rainbowdash, Rarity, and pinkie pie" they all said their greetings in unison.

"It is a pleasure to meet all of you" said Gunther to the group. They all moved around his bed to hear him better, and to take a better look at his injuries. With his wounds now clean, he seemed to be doing better, as his breathing was back to normal and he could move his left arm again.

"Twilight said you ain't from here" said Applejack breaking the ice. "So then what brings someone like you all the way out here to Ponyville?"

"Umm, well…" Gunther looked down at his legs for a moment, thinking about his answer. "I guess a lot of stuff happened and I just thought I should move for a bit." He said bringing his gaze back up to the concerned group.

"Well are you going to stay?" asked an exited Pinkie, she was always eager to make new friends, especially with someone as foreign as Gunther. This question took Gunther by surprise; he had certainly not thought about staying at Ponyville at all.

"I don't know" was the first thing that came to his mind. "I already caused enough trouble in my short time here. I don't think I would fit in anyway."

"Nonsense" exclaimed Rarity, surprised by his attitude towards the today's events. "You just saved our very best friend's life and you think you are causing trouble? You are much too modest for your own good"

"I think we should all do something to help out our new friend." Said fluttershy smiling. "it's the least we can do to repay him right?" she asked the group. They all agreed happily. "Rarity and I could mend your armor"

"What a lovely idea fluttershy" said Rarity, smiling at fluttershy, who returned the gesture.

"I could bring you some home cooked food" suggested Applejack, who then looked over at Pinkie. "Pinkie could help too; we all know how awful hospital food is." Then twilight knelt down beside Gunther and looked him in the eyes with sincerity.

"And I promise to stay with you and keep a close eye on you" she said. Gunther blushed furiously, and in turn twilight felt a small blush on her face as well. "I'll make sure you get well" a moment later, a nurse walked in.

"Alright everyone, visiting hours are over, let the man get some rest. "Said the nurse as she encouraged the group out of his room. Twilight seemed devastated at leaving him all alone for the night; she even noticed a rush of sadness wash over Gunther as she left the room. The nurse blew out the lanterns in his room and walked out, closing the door behind her.

About fifteen minutes later, Gunther finaly decided to shut his eyes and rest the night away, although his mind wandered. His thoughts always came back to a certain purple haired girl. Shaking the thoughts from his head, Gunther laid his head on his pillow and closed his eyes.

Moments later, the window in Gunther's room opened, waking Gunther from his sleep. Then a dark silhouette of a person climbed into his room. Gunther stiffened his body and prepared to fight this assassin. The assassin then lit up the room with its magic, only to show that Gunther's assassin was the same person he could not keep out of his mind.

"Hey there" whispered twilight sparkle. She walked over to Gunther's bedside and knelt down.

"Twilight what are you doing?" asked Gunther with a surprised expression.

"I made a promise didn't I?" she said, still in a hushed voice. "Now, you need to get some rest"

"Twilight, you don't have to do this" said Gunther. "I'll be fine, really" he lied. Deep down, he really did want to spend all the time in the world with his new friend, but he didn't want to burden her with himself.

"A promise is a promise." She said," I think of it this way. Today, you were my guardian angel who saved me. Now it's my turn to be your guardian angel." She said smiling.

"I don't want you doing this just because you feel you owe me" Gunther replied.

"Gunther, you are my friend, and I want to take care of my friends" she said. Gunther paused for a moment to take in the sincerity in her words.

"Well, alright I guess" Agreed Gunther. "But shouldn't you get some rest too? I don't expect you to stay up all night."

"Unless you plan on making me sleep on the floor, I was hoping to share the bed with you" suggested twilight. Gunther's heart skipped a beat at her words; he was more surprised at this than ever in his life.

"You…you want to what?" he asked embarrassed; if it wasn't for the darkness of the night, twilight would have seen his face was as red as one of Applejack's apples. Twilight then sat down on the bed, then lifted her legs up onto the bed . she shuffled her way to Gunther, and lightly pushed on his chest to get his to lie down.

"Go to sleep, and don't be afraid to wake me if you need anything." Said twilight. She then laid her head between his arm and shoulder, then took his arm and pulled it around her. Her head was resting on his chest and she could clearly feel how fast his heart was beating, and she wondered to herself if he could feel how fast hers was beating. She closed her eyes and embraced the warmth of Gunther's body. "You are okay with this aren't you?" she asked.

"I cannot say I am familiar with sleeping with a woman such as you" he confessed. "And you did take me by surprise, but it is quite alright"

"Now get some sleep, I'll be right here if you need me" she said quietly before closing her eyes once again.

"Thank you Twilight" he whispered. "For everything" with those words spoken, he held twilight a bit closer to his body, and let his cheek rest upon her soft hair. She seemed to make all the pain of his wounds disappear with her touch, letting him drift easily into sleep. It had been a long time since he felt this way, but he knew what he was feeling. He was happy, and so was she.

Authors note- what do you guys think? I am still quite new to this whole fanfiction thing so I need all the suggestions I can use, but please be gentle... I still haven't decided on where I want to go with this story, so it might be a while until the next installment.