From the Ashes We Rise

This is a Dragon Age: Origins fanfic. Warden Amell tries to rebuild her life at the Tower after Alistair got married. Main characters in this story are the mage origin warden, Alistair and Cullen.

Rating M for language and sexual content.

This is my first big fic so all constructive criticism is welcome because I am planning on doing a rewrite.

Dragon Age belongs to Bioware, the artwork I use as a preview is not mine either but I would love to know who the artist is.

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14. And the High Horse You rode in on

 

He was staring at her. She could feel it.

A week had passed in silence since the little incident at the Harrowing Chamber, and then another one after that and they still hadn't spoken.

And than Alistair had arrived and he was the last person on earth Jaleth wanted to talk to right now.

She had seen the look on Cullen's face as she led the King away from prying eyes and into her personal quarters. His gaze had said it all, but the silence had remained.

Alistair's cloak was soaked and his boots were covered in mud. He had been riding all day. He looked like he was searching for words.

He looked good.

"Nice place you got here," he mumbled, taking off his gauntlets and placing them on the desk.

She piled some stray books and put them in a corner. It was quite the mess Alistair tried to ignore there.

"So how have you been Jaleth?"

He touched a sculpture on a shelf, taking books from her shelf, browsing them, putting them back.

She didn't reply, she just stood there, with a new pile of books in her hands, hoping he wouldn't turn around to face her.

"You know you really hurt my manly feelings when you sneaked out of the castle without saying goodbye, all one of them in fact."

She felt the defences she had build up over the months weaken as he turned around and looked at her with an open book in his hands.

"Why are you here?" she asked, putting the pile down on the desk.

He sighed, closed the book and scratched the back of his neck.

"I needed to see if it was true," he said, trying to make eye contact, but she turned away from him, ashamed, conflicted. She wanted to tell him, she wanted to raise this child with him, she wanted...

"I'd heard rumours..."

"Well you could have just send a pigeon," she sighed.

"I did, several of them actually, but you decided to ignore them, or eat them or..."

He looked at her with defeated eyes.

"You are not the only one with a broken heart here Jaleth."

She looked up and their eyes finally met in a long gaze.

"Don't."

They were silent, but he could not keep his eyes of her belly. She hid it well underneath her robes.

"I, Maker, I just have no idea how we got here," he sighed.

She would seriously kick Wynne's arse for this. The old old nosy hag. God it was terrible to see him like this, right now. It had been terrible seeing him ever since they had broken up. She couldn't bear it when she saw him together with the queen, she had tried, but it hurt her, physically even.

She started crying, she couldn't help it.

"Don't cry Amell, I didn't mean to barge in like this. I'm sorry."

"It's the hormones," she sobbed, "they turn me into this horrible blubbering monster."

He walked over to her, wanting to take her in his arms but she gestured him not to and he backed off immideately.

She bit back her tears as she leaned on her desk.

What was he doing here?

She had been ignoring his letters for months, trying to get back on her feet without him, trying to hide her condition from him. It had all been for nothing.

"Is it...is it mine?"

"No," she said, without batting an eyelash. She hid her eyes from him, afraid that he would see through her. He knew her like no one else did, but he seemed to buy it, hetrusted her.

There was a mixture of anger and regret in his eyes. She had preferred it if he would yell at her a little, but he didn't. He just stood there.

"It doesn't matter anyhow," she added, "I am not allowed to keep it, you know, with me being a mage and all."

She was surprised by the calm sound of her voice. It was in contrast to the trembling hands she was hiding from him.

If only he would leave.

But he didn't leave. He didn't speak either, but she could hear him breath, his breathing being louder then the rain outside, then the thunder even. She could not bear the disappointed look he threw at her.

"It's not an it," Alistair replied, raising his voice, "it is a child, it is your child."

He collapsed in a chair, the last of his energy pouring away from him.

"Maker," he whispered, "I have been such a fool."

She knew what he was thinking, but she did not want to go there.

"How is this even possible, I thought grey wardens weren't able to have children?"

"Well, you could try telling the child that," she said as she finally turned toward him.

She kept her mouth shut as he started rubbing his temples.

He looked like a broken man, his hair wet from the rain, his eyes swimming in dark pools of fatigue. The desire to reach out to him and tell him everything would be all right was strong and settled on her like an old habit usually did.

"You could have given me an heir," he mumbled.

Excuse me?"

"You could have given me an heir," he repeated as he turned to look at her.

I did, she thought, and now I'm lying to your face to keep you from doing something stupid. Please don't hate me.

"That would have been very unlikely, this child's father did not bare the taint," she said, slowly getting used to the fact that she was turning into a chronic liar, "and even if I could, I am still a mage."

"To hell with that," he shouted, slamming his hand on the arm of the chair.

"I would have married you, had I known you could..."

He stopped himself, realizing the things he had meant to say came out all wrong.

"If you had known I could put a Therein child onto this world."

She was so angry she could just strangle him.

"I didn't mean it like that. You know I didn't mean it like that. I didn't even want the damn throne..."

He noticed the air was chilling, literally chilling and when he got up from his chair he noticed the tiny bits of ice that were forming at her fingertips. She seemed to be oblivious to the fact herself.

"Jaleth, your fingers..."

She looked down at them through her tears. The ice was crawling up her arms, an extreme amount of energy was building up around her.

She was about to lose control.

He walked up to her, caught her in his arms, trying to defrost what was left of her.

The colour in her eyes had gone, they looked like the eyes of someone who just drank from the joining chalice, they looked like ice.

"I need you to fight this urge to want to kill me sweetheart," he whispered in her hair.

He was holding her tight, using every muscle he had to try and contain her. Ice started forming in his hair.

"Jaleth look at me – look at me."

And she did, regrettably so.

It was strange, no matter how shiny his armour was, no matter how many people bowed to him, he was still the same man she had met at Ostagar, loving, endearing. She could not hurt him, she loved him. She would probably always love him.

The ice started melting and her body started to feel like a body again. All the energy that had been building up inside of her left her, and she fell into his arms, drained.

He pulled her closer, wrapping his cloak around her in an effort to comfort her, to warm her up. She inhaled him as he pressed her against him. He smelled of the outside world, of trees and rivers and rain, of frustration, love and regret.

He buried his face in her brown hair as she turned hers towards his, her nose tracing the skin on his cheeks.

Of course Alistair was intended on making things even worse, it was part of his charm.

He kissed her, with a kind of fever he had never kissed his wife with, tasting the frenzy on Jaleth's lips, knowing they were doomed.

He recognised the passion with which she kissed him back with in everything she ever did. He had seen it at the battlefield, when she focussed her will and fire and ice would burst from her fingertips, he had felt it in the darkness of her tent when they merged together and forgot about the blasted Blight for a while, he had seen it when she commanded the army at Denerim. Men had been touched by it, the fire in her eyes, the fire that made them believe they could do anything they set their mind to, including defeating blights and sending arch demons to an early grave.

He had believed in it.

He had been falling for it over and over again, against his better judgement, despite of himself, stumbling over his words like an immature arse, choking on air whenever she took her robes off.

Hell and damnation.

He smelled her hair, she was still using the same soap to wash it with as she had done when they were on the road. It smelled of flowers and spring. It smelled of hope.

"I missed you," he whispered as they held on on to each other tightly.

And then it ended just as quickly as it had begun. She pulled back and stepped away from him, leaving him breathless and with a hurt look in his eyes.

"I can't do this, I'm sorry."

It took her a minute to catch her breath, a long minute in which their eyes locked. This was insane. Were they not both adults? Why were they acting like teenagers?

"I think you should go."

He ran a hand through his hair as the room went silent. The storm was rearranging the world outside.

"Maker's breath what a nightmare."

It all felt very wrong. Here they were, two people once in love until they were not allowed to be so any longer, discussing the future of a child they weren't supposed to love either.

She was a mage and that was the end of it. They both knew it. There was nothing in the world that could change that.

He looked up at her with those doe eyes.

"If only love was enough," he sighed.

She felt the last of her heart break when she looked at him.

"It is enough Alistair, you just didn't see it."

"I..."

"I don't think we should see each other again."

And that was the end of it. He grabbed his gauntlets from the desk, stood behind her for a minute, trying to make sense of things, to find the words that were necessary in situations like these but never finding them. He touched her shoulder as she stood there, her back still turned toward him.

"Take care of yourself Jaleth."

She didn't respond, she just bit back the tears until she heard the door fall into its lock and crumbled to the floor.

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