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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2. How to cure a Hangover

"Ah there you are!" Ohgren said as he approached Jaleth on the balcony. He looked tired, the dwarf had been drinking with Alistair since early this morning. A little sip of ale at breakfast for good luck, a little sip of ale after breakfast to calm the nerves, a little sip of ale at lunch so that the wedding cake would go down smoothly...

"I have looked sodding everywhere for you." A loud belch escaped from the back of his throat. It made Jaleth chuckle, she could not help herself.

"Heh! Pardon me."

Jaleth turned around to face him, smiling at his wobbly appearance. There had been a time when she wondered how someone that short could hold so much liquor. But the truth was he couldn't really hold it, he toppled over more then once in camp, especially during their strategy planning. But, she had to admit, whenever they used to have drinking contests at camp, the little man was still going by the time the rest of them had all passed out.

"Are you drunk?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Hah! Now what kind of a stupid question is that?" He looked as innocent as Dog did just after he got caught raiding the larder.

She smiled as she turned around to face the night again. Her hands were resting on the balustrade and her eyes were gazing in the distance. Most of Ferelden was asleep by now, but the festivities inside the castle were still going on as if they had just started. She was tired, but it was too early to exit the stage.

"Are you all right?" the dwarf asked as he moved beside her with the grace of a Hurlock, reaching for the handrail just in time.

"Now what kind of stupid question is that?"

She repositioned herself to make room for her companion.

"Well you know, that wedding business and the king and all, I would get it...if you would get pissed off a bit at that...that nug humper." He made a fist when he pronounced the last words in his sentence.

"Denerim looks so peaceful when it's asleep," she mused, totally ignoring the little rant Oghren was about to start. She did not have the strength for it.

He narrowed his eyes. "So this is the part where you deflect answering a question with some comment about how nice the weather is and how lovely it is that no one's head accidentally got chopped off before breakfast today."

She turned to face him. "How can one chop ones head off by accident?"

"Trust me, it happens."

He was awful wobbly tonight and Jaleth worried that he would trip and disappear over the edge of the balcony at some point. She decided to stay extra alert in case he needed rescuing.

Alistair must have been in a pretty funny mood when he made Oghren a member of his personal guard. She looked at the dwarf, trying to picture him in the royal guard's armour, the image forming in her head was an amusing one.

He popped open another bottle. She had the sense not to ask what it was, at least this one didn't smell too bad.

He took a sip and then turned over to his former commander again.

"How do you stand it?" he asked.

"Stand what?"

"That open air, there is so much of it." He pointed up to make sure she got what he was saying. There was no way in hell they would be having a coherent conversation tonight, not that had ever been the case when one talked to Oghren. The only words she got out of the bearded man were always related to either sex or drinking.

Her eyes followed the direction his finger was pointing in. It was a clear night and there were stars for as far as her eyes could see. It had been this clear when she first kissed Alistair. She could see his cheeks burn up, even though they were covered in darkness. He had been terribly bashful and she had teased him about that.

"I don't like looking up and seeing the great infinite nothing," the dwarf said.

"I think it is wonderful," she replied, grateful for his banter.

"Well I think you're all sodding crazy."

He fell silent and concentrated on digging something out of his pouch, a triumphant look settling on his face as he held out another bottle in front of her.

"Here, drink this, you look like you need it."

"Morrigan was pissed off for at least a week," Jaleth shouted, banging her hand on the table with such force that it made the empty cups rise up in the air a little. Her hair had come undone, half of it was still tied back, while the other half was brushing in her face.

"Aye! I thought it was pretty sodding amusing at first..." Oghren leaned back in the chair, his boots on the wooden table in front of him. "Until she set my beard on fire."

They had plundered the larder together, the dwarf and the mage. The smell of garlic sausages mixed with ale would make any outsider nauseous. But that was the good thing about the place, the lack of outsiders. There were no obnoxious guests down here, no blushing bride and groom, just food and drinks and her good friend the dwarf...and sometimes his twin brother but Jaleth figured that had something to do with the contents of her cup.

She finally was in good spirits, like she should have been on a day like today. It had been kind of great to see all of her friends again. They were all there, except for Sten. The giant had returned to his people a week after the Blight had ended. She hadn't heard from him since.

The slender mage balanced her chair on two legs as Oghren started another anecdote.

"Do you remember the time you knocked over that little pike twirler Alistair in the mud after he challenged you to a duel?"

"He blushed all the way down to his bellybutton."

"By the stone he did," Oghren replied, gesturing for a refill. Jaleth was more then happy to comply.

"And it wasn't even a duel, he was training his mana draining talent you know," Jaleth said, pouring some ale in her friends cup.

"Well pretty sodding great job he was doing at that then."

"He was actually rather good at it," she smiled, spilling some liquor, "I had no mana left to fight him."

Oghren looked confused, he pulled his beard in a contemplative manner.

"So how did he end up in that mud pool then?"

Jaleth's eyes began to sparkle and a mysterious smile settled on her lips. This story in particular was one of her favourites. She would cherish it for days to come.

"You don't want to know," she grinned.

Oghren narrowed the distance between them, looking at her as if she was about to make him a part of a large conspiracy that would reshape the world.

"Oh I really think I do."

"She flashed her boobs at him," Zevran said as he entered the kitchen.

Oghren started laughing, nearly knocking over the freshly filled mug in front of him. The elf was a pain in the ass but Oghren had to admit, he did know how to make an entrance.

"You are going to fall of that chair little man," the elf said.

He turned his gaze at Jaleth, measuring her up in one glance and drawing the right conclusions as always. Perhaps it wasn't particularly hard to do so this evening.

"You are completely wasted aren't you?"

He made no effort to try and hide the amusement in his voice.

"You both are."

Jaleth made a face and pushed a mug of ale in the assassin's direction.

"He started it," she said, pointing a bony finger in Oghren's direction, "I merely kept him company, for old time's sake, you know."

It had been a long time ago when he had seen her this far gone. She didn't drink much during the blight, or at least not in public. The only time he had seen her drunk was after Alistair had dumped her at the Landsmeet. Zevran knew little about love, or so he thought, but he did recognise a broken heart when he saw one.

"Is it true though?" Oghren snickered as he retook the chair.

"Hm?"

"You showed our king your woman parts when you were out sparring?"

"My what?"

His eyes became wide and he plucked at his moustache.

"You did, didn't you? Hehe."

"Ask Zevran," Jaleth smiled, "he watched the entire thing."

Zevran just smirked and took a sip of his ale, quickly spitting it back in his mug.

"What's the matter precious? You don't like old Oghren's special brew?"

"My taste in spirits is way too developed for this dwarven piss of yours my short legged friend," Zevran smiled, pouring his ale in Oghren's cup. Oghren made the drink disappear before Jaleth could bat an eyelash.

"Well now," Zevran said, trying to look a little more business like, "I was asked by a servant to remove you both from the kitchen. It is late and people are trying to sleep."

"Oh Zevran, don't be dull, it's not that late and..." Jaleth protested.

"I would pick you up and swing you over my delicate shoulder but you might turn me into a toad," he said.

"She won't," Oghren replied. "I asked her to turn Alistair into a toad earlier, but she couldn't do it."

"Alistair? Ah yes, I can see the practicality of such a thing, toads make for great rulers, I am sure Ferelden would benefit greatly." Zevran replied. He rose to his feet and threw a heavily protesting Jaleth over his shoulder.

"Oghren, if you would be so kind to accompany us to the guest quarters."

Oghren slowly rose to his feet, and went down almost straight away.

"Or you could just sleep here no?"

She was still banging her hands against Zevran's back when they reached the second floor. It must have been quite the sight, the Hero of Ferelden, tossed over an elven shoulder like a little rag doll. It would give the servants something new to talk about at least.

"You are waking up half the castle my dear Warden," Zevran said, trying to keep his balance as she pounded on his leather armour. He had insisted on wearing it today, a Royal wedding in Antiva usually meant trouble and he had not been convinced Fereldan weddings would be any different.

When he passed Wynne's room the door opened. A half worried mage appeared in the door opening. "Is she all right?"

Zevran gave her a charming smile and nodded.

"She was just out drinking with Oghren," he winked. "Half the contents of the larder had disappeared by the time I got there."

"Do you need help getting her to bed?"

"I am quite capable in that department my dear lady."

"Yes, that is why I asked." She gave him a long strict look before wishing him goodnight.

It was a good thing Jaleth's room was not far from Wynne's or he might have strained a muscle or two. He let out a heavy sigh as he put her on the bed.

"You really are quite heavy you know."

"You are just a tiny elf," she concurred.

"You'd be surprised," he smiled.

He pulled off her shoes and put a blanket over her. She was looking at him with sparkling eyes. She was in surprisingly high spirits all things considering. Oghren's brew could be magical after all.

"I am still wearing my dress you know," she said, crossing her arms like a petulant child.

"I am well aware of that fact. You are wearing your dress... quite well as it happens."

"I can't just go to sleep in it, now can I?" The smile on her face made him chuckle.

"Aren't you a smug one."

He kissed her on her forehead. "I'll see you in the morning."

She nodded.

"Goodnight fearless leader."

"Goodnight handsome elf."

It was pitch dark when she opened her eyes again.

She was wide awake within an instant. The unnerving feeling in her stomach made her wake up. She could feel the taint inside of her, twisting and turning. The taint in combination with a major headache.

Darkspawn, but how and... why? She lay motionless on her back, trying to regain herself and catching her breath before deciding for the next step, the alcohol still made it hard to think.

As she slowly got up she noticed the fire was almost out. She hadn't been sleeping that long.

Her breath quickened again as she thought she recognized the sound of boots on wood at the other side of the room. There it was again, but closer this time.

"Zev, get the hell out of here, I am in no mood to..." she tried, her voice more steady than she had expected.

She tried to reach for her staff but Maker it was dark, and she was still pretty drunk. Before she could reach it, a strong hand slit over her mouth.

"It's not... Zevran," a hoarse voice replied.

Her heart nearly jumped out of her chest when she recognized his voice. He was close, she could hear his breathing accelerate. His scent... he had been drinking.

He climbed in the bed beside her, his lips searching for hers, his body ready and eager.

She shivered as he ran his hand over her collarbone. Her mind was still waking up, but her body was already responding to the fingers that were finding their way underneath her shirt.

His lips were feverish when they finally found hers.

She kissed him back, but only for a second.

'Alistair...' she gasped, his lips trying to get back to what they were doing. They had just been making progress, he was not about to back down.

Oh Maker this had to end. She did not want to be that woman.

Her heart was racing and her pulse was out of control. She had fantasized about this moment ever since he had torn her heart to pieces at the Landsmeet. She had ached for him ever since she got denied. But she didn't want it like this, with his new wife just up the hall, on his wedding night and she was quite sure this wasn't what he wanted either.

It was too late now, they could not be together like this again.

She rolled away, hoping he would get the hint and back down. He did.

"I know," he sighed as he laid down next to her. He watched her back for a while. Her shirt had been crawling up, revealing the curves at her hips. He came a little closer and gently wrapped his arms around her.

"And I am sorry," he whispered in her hair, kissing the back of her head. When he noticed she did not respond, that she was just laying there, frozen like a corpse, he started moving away. "I shouldn't have come, I have no idea what I was thinking, not much most likely."

Her hand found his and she wrapped her fingers around it. "Don't go," she whispered as she turned around in his arms to face him. He looked at her calmly, his eyes warm and sad.

"I won't."

She sighed and came closer again to nestle herself in his arms, concentrating on his breathing and listening to the beat of his heart.

That was when he decided to act like a spoiled child again.

"You're the one doing the leaving remember?"

He expected her to kick him out of the bed, or perhaps slap him, but nothing remotely like that happened and the room went silent.

She was still lying in his arms when he felt her body started shocking against his, very slowly and suppressed but still shocking.

It was not the good kind of shocking. The Hero of Ferelden was crying. He couldn't remember seeing her cry ever before. Not even when they were about to get eaten by an Arch demon in a half dead city tainted with the Blight.

'I love you,' he whispered, like an idiot. Like those three words rolling from his lips would fix everything and the world would go back to what it was before she put him on the throne.

He anticipated her to be there when he woke up, but she was gone.

It was morning, but just yet. Dawn was breaking and he could hear the birds outside, going on about their business as usual. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he tried to recall the night before.

He had been a very bad man.

As he glanced at her pillow he noticed the handkerchief. He picked it up and noticed something had fallen out of it. It was a rose, and he recognized it within an instant.

It was the rose he had picked for her in Lothering.

 

 

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