On the Road to Redcliffe

Content:
Rating: Teen
Flavor: surprise
Era: Partners in Crime (Book I: Origins)
Spoilers: not really
Canon: maybe
Language: some
Violence: some
Nudity: none
Sex: none
Other: none

Notes:
This is a little vignette for one of the Zevran Weekly Prompts at the BioWare boards. There's no reason it can't be canon, but I don't think I will put it into the actual story.


On the Road to Redcliffe

Alistair let out a horrible scream. Bannon raced out of his tent and stepped on a glowing sigil that flared to life and locked his limbs. He stood, rooted to the spot, quivering with the strain of trying to move. The scene laid out before him was out of a nightmare: Leliana lay nearby, pale and lifeless, a red gash across her throat. Morrigan stood just beyond her, sneering at Bannon's helplessness. And near the fire, Zevran had Alistair on the ground; he was stabbing at the former Templar viciously while Alistair twitched and gurgled and then finally went limp.

Zevran stood and turned, a bloodthirsty grin on his face. "I told you so, did I not? The Grey Wardens die here!" Of course! On the road to Redcliffe, where the assassin had first tried to kill them. Zevran walked slowly towards his helpless victim. "The Crows always get their marks! And you, my... 'friend.'" His eyes glinted. "It was a long and difficult task earning your trust, getting under your guard, but so worthwhile." He stopped directly in front of Bannon, flicked thin red liquid from his dagger. "I am going to enjoy this." His predator's smile reminded Bannon of how much the assassin said he enjoyed the physical act of killing, the bite of the blade into flesh, the power to tear life from another. Zevran stepped even closer, now inches from Bannon, the wicked point of his dagger rising slowly to Bannon's throat.

"hic."

Zevran slumped, his head bowed, his arms going lax at his sides. "Dammit, Alistair, you said this would work!"

Leliana groaned and sat up. Morrigan snorted. "'Twas a stupid plan."

"Then how come you agreed to help?" Alistair griped, getting to his feet and wiping bits of red goo from his chest.

Morrigan only smirked in answer.

The magical binding faded, and Bannon staggered as his limbs were freed. "What are you do- hic!"

Alistiar said, "Everyone always says the way to cure someone of hiccoughs is to scare them."

Wynne came up between the tents. "Alistair, that's just ridiculous. I can't believe you cooked up this elaborate charade just to try to cure Bannon's hiccoughs."

"hic."

"But Wynne! He's been doing that for over three hours now! He's driving me balmy!"

"That shouldn't be too hard," Morrigan sniped from the sidelines.

"I wasn't scared," Bannon scoffed. "hic."

"You were!" Zevran insisted. "I saw the look on your face"

"That was me looking shocked that you thought you were scary. And what is that? Tomato juice on your dagger? You st- hic- abbed a tomato on Alistair? That's supposed to fool me?"

Zevran shrugged sheepishly and wiped his blade. "Come on. You were not even a little trepidatious?"

"That's not even a word," Bannon grumped.

Leliana sighed. "All this makeup, and the time I spent applying it!"

Zevran tried to console her. "You look ghastly, my dear!" The bard leveled a look at him. "Ah, I mean, you look lovely! A lovely shade of ghastly!"

Leliana huffed and went to find a rag to wipe her face and neck.

"Oh, here's a tip," Bannon said after her; "cut throats usually leave a lot of blood all over."

"What?" Zevran said; "You want us to use up all our tomatoes?"

Out of the side of his mouth, Bannon said, "You are so scoring negative points, there."

"Shut up."

"hic!"

Meanwhile, Alistair had gone over to Wynne. "Isn't there some cure you have? Some herbs? A potion? A spell? A cantrip!"

Wynne shook her head through the whole list. "You just have to be patient. They'll go away on their own."

"hic!"

"Argh!" Alistair grabbed his ears and yanked at them in frustration.

Morrigan said, "I told you. He needs to stand on his head and drink a glass of water."

"Is that even possible?" Alistair tilted his head, squinched up his eyes, and tried to picture such a feat.

"Why can't I- hic- just drink a mug of ale while standing upright?"

"Because 'twill not work."

"Well, before you t- hic- orture and drown me, I'd kinda like to try it." Bannon looked at Zevran. Zevran didn't seem to be paying attention. Bannon cleared his throat. No, Zevran was still staring at Leliana. "In the alienage, they say if you can drink a whole mug in one go, the- hic'll be cured."

Bannon looked at Zevran again. Then he kicked him. "Huh?"

"I said, in the alienage..."

"Oh! Right, yes. I have heard the self-same thing."

So the others had to reluctantly agree to let Bannon have a mug of ale. He took a deep breath and started quaffing while they all gathered around to watch. He was doing pretty well; he got nearly three-quarters of it down, when suddenly- hic!- he sucked a mouthful into his windpipe and started coughing and choking.

He doubled over, dropping the mug and spilling the ale. Alistair and Zevran bumped into each other, knocking heads as they bent to try to help him. Leliana and Wynne also tried to help, but Bannon waved them away. He coughed and wheezed, still bent over with the force of trying to clear his lungs. His face went red. He staggered a bit, then collapsed, one hand to his throat.

"Amico!" Zevran shoved Alistair aside and knelt by Bannon. "Are you all right? Here, turn over so I can thump you on the back."

Bannon choked harder at the clear look of concern on the Antivan's face. With a final gack! he collapsed, eyes rolled up into his head.

"Bannon!"

Bannon opened his eyes and grinned. "Gotcha!"

"Wh-? Why you! I will thump you soundly right now!" Zevran proceeded to do so, while the other elf curled up and laughed.

"Hahahahhaha! -hic!"