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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15. Submerged

 

"Go away," she moaned.

Every muscle in her body screamed in agony and the headache she had developed during the night was killing her, but Wynne didn't seem impressed one bit.

She was just standing there, her arms crossed and a serious glowering look on her face. Jaleth recognised the frown all too well, the frown meant trouble.

"Get off the floor this instant young lady!"

She did not remember Wynne's voice being so high pitched before, but it did something to her head and she felt the sudden need to rub her temples and get the hell out of Ferelden and hide underneath a rock somewhere.

"Don't you young lady me Wynne," she mumbled, barely audible.

Wynne glanced around the room, which was a total and utter mess. She immediately found what she was looking for. Two bottles of wine on the floor, one of them empty, the other one half gone.

"Have you been drinking?"

Jaleth hid her face in her hands.

"No."

She uncovered her face and looked at Wynne like Dog usually did after he ate all the cookies.

Where was Dog anyway?

"Well maybe a little."

The disappointed look on Wynne's face made her feel even worse.

"Need I remind you that there is life growing inside of you?"

Jaleth slowly rose to her feet, grasping her desk to keep her from tumbling over, rubbing the leftovers of a restless sleep out of her eyes.

"Yes by all means, remind me," she mumbled, slowly walking over to where last night's Chardonnay was waiting for her in a smudgy glass.

"It's not like it isn't constantly on my mind anyway."

Wynne grabbed the glass just before Jaleth could bring it to her lips, spilling the liquor on the carpet Zevran sent her earlier that month.

"What has happened to you child?"

Jaleth shrugged and started looking for another glass. She found one on top of a pile of books.

"You used to be a hero Jaleth," Wynne sighed as she started to move things around again to clear a path from the desk to the bathtub.

Jaleth snorted as she poured herself another glass.

"A hero," she scoffed as she tasted the wine.

"Hero my arse."

She staggered toward the couch.

"It's just something you guys made up because you were too depressed to hold a sword without it. I was just a kid for Andraste's sake. I never asked for any of this."

"Maker look at yourself complaining about everything. You used to fight." Wynne replied, her voice echoing the pain she felt inside.

"I don't know what I am fighting for any more."

The Blight was over, the lover was gone, the child would be gone as soon as she gave birth to it.

Wynne's lips moved.

Jaleth didn't seem to hear a single word Wynne said though, she was focussing on her legs instead. Her knees seemed unable to support her weight today. She wanted new legs, younger legs, legs with sturdy knees even if you drank too much.

Wynne walked over to where Jaleth was standing and grabbed the half empty glass from her hand.

"You've had enough. Now take off those robes."

"Look, if you're trying to butter me up..." Jaleth chuckled, immediately forgetting about the empty spot the glass left in her hand.

Wynne walked past her and drew her a bath.

"Robes!"

"All right, all right, no need to get pushy."

Jaleth walked up to the tub and started undoing the laces of her shoes, trying to stretch the moment out into eternity. All was good as long as she didn't have to do anything but focus on her laces. Laces were simple, the world outside this room wasn't.

"You smell like a brewery."

"Yes, well, Antivan wine does that to you apparently."

Wynne assisted Jaleth with her robes as they were half stuck in mid air, Jaleth's hands sticking out and her head completely disappearing in the fabric.

Jaleth sat down in the tub, cradling her knees in her arms, unable to deal with anything else.

"Your hair is all tangled," Wynne groaned.

She started pouring water over Jaleth's head.

"I hate you you know."

"I know."

"You had no right telling Alistair."

"I know," Wynne replied, putting some lavender soap in her companion's hair.

"You're terrible."

"I know."

The sound of water splashing was the only thing to break the silence after that.

"I didn't tell him the child was his," Jaleth confessed.

Wynne let out a disapproving grunt but she didn't say anything.

"I don't want to talk about it any more," Jaleth mused, touching the tips of her hair.

"Sooner or later you'll have to."

"Yes, well, later rather than sooner."

It went silent again.

"Did he leave?"

Wynne nodded.

"Yes, late last night, drunk out of his skull. When we tried to stop him he threatened to annul our alcohol supply even further. His guards took care of him."

"I'm sure he's fine," Jaleth said.

"It was hard to see him like that," Wynne sighed.

She rinsed the soap out of Jaleth's hair.

"You used to care."

I still do.

Alistair's pain still hurt her like a thousand knifes. The way he had looked at her when she had lied to his face. He had no right to look at her like that, but still, it had shown her that he still cared. Which told her the decision to lie about the entire affair was the right one. Maker knows what he might have done if he knew the child was his.

"I used to do a lot of things," she answered, her mind going all over the place.

Wynne cleaned her hands in the bath as if it was a most precise job in the universe.

"You should snap out of it you know."

"I know," she sighed, "I just don't know how."

Jaleth turned her head around to where Wynne was standing, but there came no reply. When she turned her head back to stare at the walls again Wynne suddenly took her hand and squeezed it.

"You'll find a way, you always do."

"I tried to you know, I thought going back to the Circle could really mean something."

"Then make it mean something."

The knock on the door broke their connection as it made Wynne let go of her hand.

Jaleth didn't pay attention to what was happening at the other side of the door, she just stared at her feet as Wynne made her way across the room.

The water made the tones of her skin soften, the colours were nicer somehow.

Inaudible words got exchanged at the door while she cupped some water in her hand.

When Wynne closed the door and cleared her throat Jaleth realized something serious was going on.

"I have to go, the First Enchanter needs to see me and it can't wait apparently."

"Well of you go then," Jaleth nodded, letting go of the water in her hand.

"And Wynne?"

"Hm?"

"Thank you."

The elder mage nodded and disappeared. The room was silent again, her head wasn't.

Jaleth sank down the bath until her nose reached the water. She tilted her head back and listened to the world from the other side of the waterline. The world was different there, loud screams turned into hushed whispers, she could hear the sound of her own breathing.

She closed her eyes and submerged entirely. She remained there until she ran out of air.

She gasped as her lungs eagerly filled themselves with the damp Tower air. Her eye fell on the wooden staff in the corner.

She got out of the bath, tied her dripping hair together and made her way across the room.

Her staff was gathering dust in the dark.

She looked at it. The last time she'd used it had been to protect her enemies.

She took it and felt the wood in her hands. She wiped the dust from a few places. She remembered the elder tree the staff was made off.

The bark felt ancient, wise. When she closed her eyes she saw trees, forests, gusts of wind shaking the leafs and blowing strands of hair in your face.

Her finger touched the markings Alistair had carved in it when they survived the attack on Redcliffe castle together. It had been a lie.

Now that she held the wood in her hands again she felt the urge to use it. There was no point keeping it if she stayed and she wondered whether coming back to the Tower had been a mistake. Perhaps where she really belonged was among the King's men, restoring the order in a land wounded by the Blight.

She placed the staff against the wall again and looked down at her belly. When there weren't any robes there to cover it up, she couldn't deny the life growing inside of it any longer.

Jaleth placed her hands on both sides of her stomach and gently stroked the skin.

"I am sorry for the mess you're going to be born in."

She sighed.

She would have to deal with Greagoir soon.

 

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