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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20. I hope You know what You are doing

 

In the week that passed he found her in the green house every night. Mages weren't supposed to be there after dark, and they definitely weren't supposed to be there without a guard, but he trusted her with the thin glass that separated them from the outside world and he knew she would never attempt anything that would get her into trouble.

So he watched her dig deep into the earth, wiping the sweat of her brow, replacing it with muddy smudges, looking more beautiful to him than ever.

He watched her every night before turning in, making his last rounds to assure every one was in their beds, every one but her.

She never noticed him standing there, or so he thought, standing in the shadows of the ill lit corridor, watching over her, his ears covering the rest of the hallway, his eyes on her hands as they planted new life, her nails dirty, her fingers black, a little wisp of magic lighting the patch she was working on. Her face was illuminated even though the magical wisp only cast a small amount of light in order not to alert anyone to her presence.

That night the urge to speak to her had overcome him and he revealed himself as she tended the roses.

She did not seem surprised when he finally entered the green house.

"I wondered when you would finally come in," she smiled, wiping her hands on her robes.

"It's the heavy armour right?" Cullen said, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Gives me away every time."

His smile was enchanting, friendly and mischievous at the same time. His smile made her forget about the burning boat at the lake for a little while.

"You're not wearing any now," she replied.

"I'm not," he confirmed, looking down at his tunic and trousers.

"You look good," she said, tending to the roses again as if he never entered the room.

"How are you?" he asked, trying to manoeuvre away from her compliment as fast as he could.

"I'm fine." She wiped her hands again, her eyes on the result of her labour. "I'm returning to duty next Monday."

"You don't have to get back to work if you don't..."

"I want to go back to work," she replied, the tone in her voice not leaving any room for debate.

"I need something to do," she added, her voice softer this time. "Something other than watering roses and pulling weeds. Something constructive."

"All right."

"Besides, you lot can't so much as blow your nose without me..."

He smiled while he checked out the tips of his boots.

"This might be true."

She got up, brushed the dirt from her robes and started focussing her will.

"I'll have to make it rain," she explained with her eyes closed.

"So you might want to get yourself to safety."

He didn't. He just watched her mumble the words of her spell in silence. He had watched her do it so many times before, during her training with the First Enchanter, at the battlefield. She always held the same frown on her face when she cast, like the magic pouring out of her hurt, like she lost a little of herself in her magic.

The words stopped and she raised her head at the sky she had just created. Little drops of water started to fall down on her skin. When she opened her eyes he was still standing opposite of her in the green house.

"A little rain never hurt anyone," he smiled.

She smiled back at him, but her mouth didn't stay in a happy state for long.

"I used to love the rain," she mused. "After a battle, when everything was fucked and piles of bodies prevented you from seeing the horizon, the rain would come and cleanse the earth of what we had done."

It started pouring when he looked into her eyes. The frown was still there.

"I'm having a little deja vu of sorts," he grinned, his cheeks turning a little red at the thought of her soaked dress at the funeral and the kiss that followed.

She sighed and the rain started to calm a little while the smell of wet dirt started filling the green house.

"I know," she said and with a wave of her hand the rain disappeared completely.

The silence in the green house came crashing down and rested on their shoulders.

He looked at her, no longer afraid, no longer hiding what had been inside of him for so long now, his eyes containing the same intensity as before at the lake.

"About before," he said, still looking at her but with less confidence than a minute ago, as if opening his mouth had made him too vulnerable.

She brushed some wet hair from her face.

"I don't regret a thing," she said, and that was to be the end of it.

The spell wisp started to fade as Cullen looked for something to say in reply. It didn't come. They just stood there in the dark, the smell of wet earth surrounding them, no other sounds than the sound of their own breathing until magic started flowing again and a little sun rose from her hands.

Cullen watched the wisp grow into a little orb, rising toward the high ceiling above their heads as another wisp started growing in her hands. He had never regarded magic as something beautiful until tonight. The little dots of light above their heads were stunning.

"You're beautiful," he said when the last wisp left her hands and her face was lit by a thousand little suns in the greenhouse.

"I.."

The sound of a throat being cleared burst their bubble and both their faces turned toward the entrance of the green house. Irving was leaning on a cane as he was about to open his mouth.

"I like what you've done with the place child, but I am sure you and the Knight Commander are quite aware of the curfew you both passed."

Irving's eyes were upon them as those of a father catching his children with some tobacco behind a shed.

Jaleth intuitively took a step away from Cullen, trying to come up with an excuse while she did it.

"The Knight Commander was so kind as to let me finish my work here First Enchanter," Jaleth apologized, "the roses were completely dehydrated."

"Completely," Cullen added.

"That is very kind indeed," Irving mumbled and he held out an arm for Jaleth to cling on too. "Now let me escort you back to your room my dear."

She nodded, took his arm and bid Cullen good night, trying her best not to blush too much when she spoke to him. She felt like a schoolgirl and she probably looked like one as well.

The First Enchanter was no idiot. Quite the opposite really. He usually knew you were up to something before you even knew it yourself.

The stairs seemed to go on forever as they ascended them together.

They were silent all the way up, but the silence said more then words ever could. It was the same silence she had faced when Duncan told Greagoir and Irving he was going to conscript her.

"We're here," the old man said.

She let go off his arm with a small nod, still drenched to the bone, trying not to shiver too much.

"Good night Enchanter Amell."

She braced herself from the shit storm that usually arrived after Irving went all formal on her, but nothing happened so she made her way into the room.

It did come however, when she was only seconds away from closing the door.

"Jaleth dear..."

She knew the tone in his voice all too well.

She opened the door a little wider and looked the old man in the eyes. The expression they held was not was not what she'd expected. They looked worried, compassionate, not shit storm-y at all.

"Yes Sir?"

"I hope you know what you're doing."

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