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Acceptance ch 1515. Best FriendsAcceptance ch 15 by FyreQueen89
Tarin is, of course, overjoyed that I've changed my mind. He readily agrees to my conditions; Declan and Jowan watching, time limit before we wake him up, and if it seems to be getting too dangerous, they'll stop him immediately. Sable already has enough trouble with her nightmares, we don't need to make them worse or add a possessed best friend for her to feel guilty about.
"Not that I lack confidence in your abilities or anything," I assure him. "I just know how tricky and powerful demons can be."
"I understand, Commander." He's practically bouncing he's excited.
"Tarin." I wait until he looks at me. "Good luck, and be careful."
"I will," he nods, expression solemn but eyes shining. He doesn't care how dangerous this is, I realize as I watch him leave. He doesn't care about the risks that are inherently higher with Dreamer abilities just by nature of what they are. He just cares that he can help Sable, or at least try this one last thing.
Acceptance ch1414. Pay UpAcceptance ch14 by FyreQueen89
Fortunately for me, a more immediate--not to mention immeasurably more light-hearted--matter presents itself as soon as Jowan and I walk inside. Namely, all the sleepyhead returnees are awake. Nathaniel, Sigrun, and Declan sit gathered around a table, half eaten late breakfast scattered before them.
Sigrun catches sight of us and waves. "Hey, boss, c'mere!"
It takes everything in me not to grin knowingly as we join them. "What's up, Sig?"
"Nate says he has news that he only wants to share once. Meaning, tell all of us at the same time, I guess. So he refused to breathe a word 'til we had you guys. I was just gettin' ready to go look for ya, cuz the suspense is killin' me."
"Well, that would be bad," I tease, sliding into a seat.
"That's what I said," Declan laughs. "Though no' gettin' pranked anymore would be a nice change a' pace."
Sigrun elbows him in the ribs. "I'd miss you, too, Pretty Boy. Now, Nate, Commander an' Jowan are here, so spill. What's your news?"
Of Wardens and Pariahs ch22-- RemembranceTrinne charged into the fight with no real plan beyond kill darkspawn and hoping the others followed. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Leliana pause ever so briefly, hands faltering as she nocked an arrow.Of Wardens and Pariahs ch22-- Remembrance by FyreQueen89
Alistair showed no such hesitation, barreling past the mage as she conjured a lightning spell. He rammed hard into the heavily armored hurlock leader, lowering his shoulder at the last second to put extra force behind his shield as he struck.
With a flick of her wrist, Morrigan froze the nearest genlock archer, and Sten's sword connected hard enough to shatter it into a thousand crystallized shards. Cousland darted through the newly created gap, heading for one of the darkspawn who lurked further back. The rest of the monsters were dispatched easily enough. The six of them were working better as a team than Trinne had dared hope. The pair of mabari and nearly even numbers to their foe helped, sure, but they were still shaping into a good team.
Playing to Your Strengths Title: Playing to Your StrengthsPlaying to Your Strengths by FyreQueen89
Game: Dragon Age Inquisition
Characters/Pairings: f!Trevelyan/Cullen, Dorian
Disclaimer: None of the involved characters belong to me.
Dorian's first clue someone had commandeered 'his' nook in the library was the book that narrowly missed his head as he mounted the stairs. The startled mage swore as he dodged sideways, nearly colliding with the wall in his haste to avoid the literary missile. "What's that poor tome done to deserve such treatment?" he chided, collecting it from the floor as he approached. "More importantly, what have I done?"
The brunette slouched sideways in his armchair looked up and had the decency to flash a chagrined smile. "Sorry, Dorian. Didn't see you were there."
"Still doesn't tell me what grievous sin the book committed," Dorian hinted, taking in the stacks of similar volumes Ve had piled around the chair. "Or what p
Alistair must have been trying to get his attention for a while, because by the time Harvey looked away from the flames, the templar's face carried a hint of resignation, as if he was sorry for trying to ask anything.
The rogue titled his head, more distracted than apologetic, but for his companion it must have looked like a sign of encouragement.
"I was asking," the warrior carefully articulated every word. "Do you know why our leader is so skittish about going back to Kinloch Hold?"
You like her, don't you? Harvey felt a wave of irritation. It wasn't any of his business, but the fact the man managed to find something shielding him from his grief, while he himself was left to his own devices during their journey north, was finally taking its toll. He almost said it out loud.
"I wasn't in the Circle while she was being recruited, so I wouldn't know.” There, a nice short answer, and an honest one. Seeing as they both were stepping on each other's toes since day one, the mage didn't go to the trouble of sharing her story, and as a result Harvey barely knew anything about her. Plus, he was preoccupied with other things...as was she. The rogue thought if he should mention Alistair was at least the second man to whom she'd offered special attention in the last few weeks. He wasn't blind. But no, that was probably out of line... and he wanted the warrior to shut up, not question him further.
"You've said it yourself,” Harvey poked burning logs with a stick, "the Wardens aren't above conscripting people of...questionable circumstances.” He wished that would be enough for the warrior to drop the subject. He had other things on his mind than dwelling on origins of one Trinne Amell.
"That's...true." Alistair's impression of a kicked puppy made him regret letting out even that bit of spite. For all the, well, developing crush, as Harvey saw it, templar's thoughts apparently didn't avoid that particular path either. Irritation moved over to give shame some space. The rogue bit his tongue.
And I don't even think that way, I'm just sharing my misery.
"Look," he followed up with a sigh, "or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I know I was. Even if she was keeping secrets, how bad could it be? Did she magic someone by accident? She definitely had a light hand when it came to throwing deadly blasts around–-Harvey unconsciously nursed his shoulder--but the mage didn't seem the hardened criminal type, as annoying as she sometimes was.
"Doesn't really matter now,” he finally added, trying to defuse his own words. A noble, a templar, two mages, a wanted criminal and a surely insane chantry sister, they were a traveling carnival troupe either way. All things considered, he didn't do half bad while drawing the lots for the watch roster. Amell got Sten as her 'company' during the next shift, good luck with that.
"But aren't you curious about her at all? She's clearly avoiding the subject. I really wonder what made Duncan recruit her."
It was like watching someone shoot themselves in the foot.
The mind is tricky like that, the rogue sympathized, you can try and protect yourself, direct your attention elsewhere, but it always somehow made you stab yourself again. And again. And you can't even blame anyone, because it's your head. At the mention of his mentor, Alistair sunk into himself immediately, question about the mage dropped. Mischievous smiles and pretty eyes could only protect you so far, it seemed.
Silence made the air heavy--but not awkward, to the warrior's credit, seeing as he was finally over his crying fits-–and they just sat there for a while, listening to the various nighttime noises, searching for a false note in their surroundings. Even though Harvey doubted they would hear anything suspicious--Frida slept somewhere near undisturbed, and he trusted her senses more than he trusted his own.
Alistair looked just...sad, and Harvey wondered if it's how people saw him as well. Some small part of him felt like he owed the templar more compassion, a few friendly words for companionship's sake. Still, most of him felt numb about the warrior's loss, his acquaintance with Duncan short-–and as much as he was grateful the man saved his life in Highever, the Warden's deed was far from an altruistic gesture.
Finally, the blond sniffed once, defeated smile crooking his lips. "Nights are the worst," he echoed Harvey's earlier thoughts.
"...yeah." the noble nodded casually.
And this could have been it, two men reaching consensus, and dropping an uncomfortable subject. But to Harvey's horror, the templar pressed on. "I'm sorry, I just wish I had more time with him," the warrior admitted, reminiscing about Duncan "...or that at least I had something to remember him by. But...you lost your family, right? I'm sorry. I remember he said...I remember hearing about it.”
Harvey was horrified. Please don't do this, I'm not even trying to be nice to you, I don't deserve your concern. I don't want to...
talk about it.
But Alistair was clueless, or maybe he just didn't understand--after all he didn't bother hiding his grief from others, even if it earned him more than a few snarky comments from Morrigan. And at this point he shared more than enough to expect some sort of token of appreciation, a childlike notion of "you give me something, I give you something in return"... and it made Harvey feel bad about keeping quiet. It was only good manners to loose up his tongue in return.
The decision was impulsive. Maybe his common sense went to sleep--he was pretty exhausted--but keeping everything to himself wasn't helping at all so far. Trust or no trust, they fought monsters together. That had to count for at least a speck of friendship. Still, pointing at the object resting at Alistair's feet was one of the most difficult things he'd done of late, slaying darkspawn included. “I do have something to remember my parents by,” he stated in a low voice.
It took a few moments for the warrior to figure out the implications. “The sword?” He inquired, eyebrows risen. “The sword you gave me at Ostagar?” He picked up the blade and inspected it carefully in the dim light.
Harvey could easily picture what he was seeing. An old blade, far more clunky than those used nowadays, but still indisputably well balanced, the laurel pattern adorning the hilt faded almost into non-existence. He knew this sword by heart. A long, long time ago he even thought he'd get to wield it one day.
Still, the sudden outburst took him by surprise.
“Are you completely out of your mind?! I can't take this!” The look on Alistair's horrified face showed understanding. “What if I lose it on the battlefield...What if it breaks? Don't you care about your heirloom?” He got up, handing the hilt back to its proper owner.
Or tried to.
Harvey's hand twitched and moved to take it, but then wavered and only pushed it farther away. “And what do you want me to do with it?!”, he asked, voice rising more than he intended. “Swords are meant to be used!” He met Alistair's blank gaze and grit his teeth. Do I really need to explain this to you?! “It's too heavy for me! Unwieldy!” He spat out the word, face burning. It was a mistake; he shouldn't have said anything, and definitely shouldn't have tried to explain himself to someone he barely knew.
Alistair stood, annoyingly relentless, waiting for the rogue to change his mind.
Well, at least he didn't throw it under my feet, Harvey sighed. “Look, it's a good blade. A warrior's sword... and I am no warrior. Keep it till we find you a better one, if that makes you feel better,” he compromised dryly.
“It is a good blade,” Alistair admitted slowly, uncertain, but it seemed that at last he conceded the point. He sat back down, thoughtful, glancing between Harvey and the weapon. “I won't lose it, I promise,” he said, the solemn tone earning him a strange look from the rogue. Carefully putting the blade back in its sheath, he sent Harvey a crooked smile. “And if something happens to it...I'll tell you what-" he pondered for a second- “I will let you shave my head, completely. Hairless as a knee. What do you say?”
The idea was so ridiculous, so outlandish, that Harvey couldn't help but let out a small chuckle. And then a second one. It took him a few moments to realize that the third sound that left his throat wasn't a laugh, no, and suddenly he was biting his balled fist, finally failing to keep in what was long overdue. It came crashing down on him, Highever, his parents, the fact he was never going to see them again. That the only thing he had left was a stupid, useless symbol. His eyes burned, so he covered them with his arm. He wasn't a child anymore, and crying won't fix anything, as his father would say. He allowed himself a few choked up sobs anyway.
It took Harvey a few minutes to calm down enough to speak, his companion being the only--thankfully silent --witness to his grief. “Stupid piece of metal,” he managed, his voice coarse. “This is just a stupid piece of metal.”
She couldn't sleep. Huffing angrily, Trinne punched her pillow and rolled over again, trying to fight through the nerves and get deeper asleep than a light doze. The low murmur of Alistair and Cousland making small talk wasn't helping, even if she didn't care what they were talking about.
Tomorrow they would reach Kinloch Hold. And she would begin praying with every fiber in her being that Greagoir didn't mention the series of events that led to her joining the Wardens. She was traveling with an ex-templar for Andraste's sake. The last thing she needed was to explain the Jowan mess to Alistair. The worst part, she knew, would be that she wasn't sorry. No matter how badly his lying to her hurt, she wasn't sorry she helped him, and she never would be--blood mage or no.
Trinne groaned and dug her fingers into her hair. This was exactly the train of thought she was trying to avoid so she could maybe get some sleep. She focused on the nighttime noises instead; crickets, frogs, Dane and Frida snoring, the murmured rise and fall of her fellow Wardens' conversation. And it worked.
Though by morning, a good part of her would be wishing it hadn't.