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.


4. Of Cheese and missing Pants

Things in Denerim had just gotten a lot worse. There was this giant headache for starters, he could not find his pants and she had left without so much as a word, dumping his rose on the pillow next to him and breaking his heart all over again.

He slowly got up, the headache getting worse with every bit of light that poured in through the curtains. There was throbbing even, he was sure of it, it was right there at the side of his head. He had been drinking a lot last night.

At least he had found his pants.

He sighed as he glanced through the room. It had been hers ever since they arrived at the palace. Which wasn't that long, but she had a way of making her surroundings feel like home. Perhaps that had more to do with her persona then the room, but still.

Not much had changed since the last time he was here, she hadn't packed an awful lot of her things. The rug they had bought together in Orzammar was still there, as was her collection of books. Lots of new, more exciting books to read at the Tower, he assumed. He traced their covers with his fingers.

Her books had been precious to her, she had been carrying around at least one of them wherever they went and the realization that she had left them here, abandoned to their faith, made his stomach hurt.

Then again, that could also have something to do with last night's ale.

He sat on the end of the bed for a while, taking the room in and saying his goodbyes. He touched the sheets they had shared their last night under and a flash of guilt shot through his veins. Being drunk had just been an excuse. He knew exactly what he was coming there to do and it all looked so much worse in daylight. Things usually did.

He felt a heavy burden settle on his shoulders. The time for messing around was over. She had made damn sure of that. He was a King now and he had a wife. A wife, a real one. Morrigan would have loved that.

He sighed. If only it were up to him.

If it were up to him he would have had a wife he loved, he would have had her. But it wasn't up to him now was it? His own life was out of his control and as much as he loved her, the Fereldan nobility would never tolerate a mage on the throne, not even if that mage had stopped the Blight and united the land against a traitor. Marrying a girl with noble blood was part of the job description.

He swallowed hard to keep his emotions down.

He hadn't been allowed to love her for a very long time but he never got used to the idea that their relationship would actually end. It had never been this resolute in his mind. He figured they would find a way to be together in between the forbidden sex in a cupboard and the stolen kisses in the night. He didn't expect her to actually leave one day.

But she had and he had to come to terms with that.

Alistair felt like an idiot when he smelled her sheets but he really couldn't help himself. The scent he inhaled was so familiar to him that he feared the day it would turn into the scent of 'someone he used to know.'

He picked the rose up and gently touched the petals. At least Jaleth had had the sensibility to turn him away last night. Things could have been so much worse if she hadn't. His conscious would have been a son of a bitch if he had actually slept with her.

He had been out of his mind, like a little demon child high on sugar.

Alistair slowly rose to his feet and made his way to the door. He was pretty pleased with his sneaking skills as he heard the door fall into the lock with almost no sound at all. As he turned around he found himself rushing into another human being.

Of course you could always count on a sneaky servant to bump into on your way out of your already whispered mistress' room.

Except this wasn't a servant, this was the Queen of Ferelden.

"My lady Cousland..." Alistair mumbled as his cheeks turned pink.

Theirin, not Cousland you daft arse.

"My king," she said with a polite curtsy.

He let go of the doorknob with an clumsy smile. She could probably smell Jaleth on him, he thought, women were good at those kind of things. His cheeks burned. He was busted, red handed and everything.

"I uhm, I came to see if Miss Amell had left already, it seems like she did."

Miss Amell...sounded kind of ridiculous, especially coming from his mouth. Miss Amell.

She looked straight through him but remained composed. Brilliant, his stuttering would get a hell of a lot worse.

His wife's expression gave no clues as to her emotional state at all. She had been well trained in the ways of court. He hadn't.

"She left half an hour ago, my Lord," lady Cousland answered.

Alistair tried to swallow his disappointment without her noticing, but failed, it got stuck somewhere between his throat and his stomach. He wished she would have at least woken him up just before she left, he could have...

He wasn't sure but it looked like lady Cousland's mouth twitched for a second there.

"As did the other mages and the cocky elf." Now it was her turn to flush. "I beg your pardon, your Highness, it is not my place to comment on the company you keep."

Alistair chuckled. "Well, the elf can be quite an arse, a charming arse I'll give him that, but still an arse."

They both stared at their toes for a second.

"I uhm... I hope your stay has been comfortable so far?"

It was like meeting Jaleth all over again. All the awkwardness had returned. His cheeks were flushed and Alistair seemed incapable of making eye contact with the woman in front of him. To make matter worse the words he wanted to express seemed to come out backwards and all tangled and...

"Yes, very nice," she answered. "Everyone has been very kind and accommodating."

A servant passed the two of them, eying them in such a curious manner that it made them smile at each other. This was when he noticed the small wrinkles near her eyes and mouth. They were the happy kind and that reassured him a bit.

"Anyway, I was just thinking how nice it would be to be on know...first names base, since we are to be spending the rest of our lives together and everything," he rambled, like an idiot. Her face seemed to soften though. "I agree...Alistair."

This was progress right? Progress was good.

"It's a nice day for a stroll don't you think?" He held out his arm for her and she took it, she didn't even hesitate. "We could sneak out for just a minute and I can show you where to buy the best cheese in Ferelden. The guards wouldn't even notice we were gone."

He turned his gaze at her, she was in fact quite beautiful, just as Eamon had promised when they were about to meet. Her hair must be very long, she had tucked it away in two rolls down her neck and her face was fair. She seemed to share the same delicate features in her face as Jaleth and...

He wanted his mind to stop this trail of thought. It would not be fair to either of them.

"Cheese?" she smiled with a flicker in her eyes, "I love cheese."

Arl Eamon be blessed, the old geezer was a truly gifted matchmaker.

"Just give me a minute to slip into something less...well noble," she said and he could notice a hint of excitement in her voice. They were about to set of at their first little adventure together. It wasn't quite the 'slay several horrid looking Darkspawn in a barbaric forrest' adventure, but it would do.

He pronounced her name in his head as he studied the way she moved until she disappeared around the corner. Elin.


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