tagCelebrities & Fan FictionThere and Back Again Ch. 049-050

There and Back Again Ch. 049-050

byElyssaCousland©

Chapter Forty-Nine: Untold story

He sprawled onto his back, and I curled up against his broad chest, pulling the covers up over us both. I was shivering slightly, uncertain whether it was just the chill or also the pent up arousal. Alistair rolled towards me, wrapping me in his arms.

"So that was...intense," he started.

I laughed. "That was sort of the point, yes."

"But I...we...why?"

"Tonight was about you, love. I can only tell you how overwhelmingly attractive you are so many times; I thought, this time, that I'd prove it."

He blushed. "It seemed more like it was about...you showing me who was in charge."

"Merely a side benefit, I promise." I grinned, and he chuckled.

"Well, you know that normally I have no trouble letting someone else lead. Especially someone so beautiful." He leaned in and kissed me, and I moaned. Yep, definitely the arousal, not the cold. He pulled away and grinned. "You don't have to go to extraordinary lengths to get me to follow you."

I smiled softly. "You know, that's a load of crap. You're a lot more competent - and confidant - than you let on. You lead when you need to, and you're good at it."

His eyes crinkled in amusement at my Earth words. "Don't tell anyone else that! Maker, they might try to get me to lead more often!" I giggled. "Speaking of, I've been incredibly selfish. And there's something I've wanted to try, if I may."

I'd have responded, but his mouth closed over mine just as his hand weaved its way into my hair, and he shifted us so he lay on top of me, his knees between mine supporting most of his weight. I lifted my legs, bending both knees, expecting him to push forward and enter me; I hadn't checked, but if prior experience was anything to go by, he would be ready again. Instead, to my surprise, he released my mouth and began kissing his way down my jaw to my throat. I moaned softly, enjoying the attention but too over-stimulated already to need it.

I wriggled my hips, brushing against his length. "Please don't tease, just-"

He interrupted me with a finger on my lips, and then went back to kissing his way down my neck. I expected him to linger at my breasts for a while - like most men I'd met, he seemed fascinated by those two little bumps - but this time after a few moments he continued further down to lick and kiss my flat stomach. My breath caught when I realised what he had planned. I tried to tell him he didn't need to do that, and he ignored me entirely. And then he pressed my thighs firmly out to the side, and I stopped talking as his mouth descended to my sex.

I'd never seen anything as sexy in my life as Alistair, prone, my legs over his shoulders, his tongue out and lapping at the moisture dripping from my folds. It felt incredible, as he explored me more intimately, and I shrieked as he added two fingers into my canal as he licked me. I could feel one of his hands holding my writhing hips down, and I clung to it for dear life. He clamped his lips around my little button and sucked hard; white light exploded behind my eyelids as I came, chanting his name.

And then he was in me, and I could taste myself on his lips as he kissed me, and I whimpered as he thrust furiously, prolonging my orgasm until I felt him spill inside me again. I clung to him and he held me as we both panted our recovery.

"Maker, at some point isn't this insatiable...need supposed to ease off?" His face was pink, I wasn't sure if from exertion or embarrassment.

"Not yet, apparently." I grinned and kissed him softly, then cuddled into his side as we rearranged ourselves and fell asleep.

The next morning, I wasn't as stiff or sore, and I virtually scampered to the bathing room. Alistair groaned and rolled over, so I let him sleep. I knew my desire for daily bathing was considered strange, and it wasn't like Alistair stank or anything, so I could keep my weird issues to myself. I noticed for the first time that the tubs had a large drain underneath that led to some sort of pipe to drain the water without having to carry it out in buckets. It gave me ideas, and I decided if I was going to be able to stay in Ferelden, I was going to invent at least rudimentary plumbing. After the Blight.

I dressed in my armour, for the first time since coming to Denerim, minus one bracer that I hoped to pick up at Wade's at some point. Breakfast was a quick affair of scones and porridge and jerky. Aedan was acting normally, even smiling and joking as Leli and Zev teased Alistair and me for keeping people awake again. I was relieved - I hadn't been looking forward to dealing with my brother's overprotective streak. Once we finished, Alistair, Aedan, Zevran and I headed out with Prince in tow. We agreed to meet Leli and Wynne at the Gnawed Noble for lunch, so the four of us had the morning to ourselves. It took us a bit to make our way to the market, avoiding other groups of armed people as much as possible, and then we were finally there. We wore full helmets, which I found totally uncomfortable, but it would have looked weird if the boys did and I didn't, so I sucked it up.

We were there early enough that it wasn't busy yet; we got a good chance to look around at the various merchants setting up shop. Alistair led us to where he thought he'd seen Gorim, and suddenly there he was. Red hair, thick braided beard, pissed off expression - yeah, that's him. We waited until another customer left, and then approached the dwarf's stall. There was a variety of weaponry and armour on display, and Aedan made a show of examining some of it. When Gorim caught sight of the four of us, his face clouded over and his scowl became huge.

"How many times do I have to tell you, I'm not 'hiring' any of you sodding nug-humpers. You'd better come back with more men if you intend to challenge that." He was hefting a rather large war axe as he spoke. He was strongly favouring one leg as he stood there, but he still looked menacing with the weapon in his hand. I'd sort of forgotten he was a warrior; there was no question he knew what to do with the heavy axe.

I winced; it hadn't occurred to me what four armed and armoured people approaching him would look like under these circumstances. I stepped forward and reached up to take off my helmet; Alistair put his hand on my shoulder, and I saw Aedan tense, but it wasn't as though anyone in Denerim knew who I was. I gave them reassuring smiles and turned back.

"You misunderstand, ser. We are not mercenaries. We are not here collecting coin."

He looked skeptical, but gave me a big, false smile. "Well in that case, what are you interested in, milady? I've got dwarven arms and armour, straight from Orzammar."

"I'm sure we will take a look, but listen, we aren't here for that." I glanced around, making sure no one seemed to be watching; the three men all chose random display items to appear to be examining. I lowered my voice. "I know who you are, Gorim. And I know why you left Orzammar. These men are Grey Wardens, and I was hoping we could talk to you about the...situation, in Orzammar. Things have changed since you left. Endrin is dead, and the Assembly are dead-locked between Bhelen and Harrowmont. I was hoping you could offer us some insight into the politics we will be walking into when we go there."

I couldn't miss the flash of hope that crossed his face when I mentioned the Wardens, but it was quickly covered by skepticism and despair.

"Grey Wardens, you say? Rumour is, they're the ones who betrayed the King. I have a hard time believing they'd advertise their presence here."

I heard Aedan and Alistair shift, and quickly gestured them down.

"I know, Gorim. There's only a couple of them left, though, and they need all the help they can get. And think about it. You know more about Wardens than any Fereldan - would they actually betray a King, let the darkspawn win? Do you seriously believe that? We came to you because I told them you can be trusted."

"And how, exactly, do you know that? Maybe I'll turn you in myself for the bounty. I'm a surfacer now, I could use the coin."

"I don't believe it for a moment. You may have left Orzammar, but you haven't abandoned your honour. Sereda believed in you, and so do I, Gorim."

His face coloured at the mention of Sereda. "You know nothing, human. You-"

I cut him off. "I know she loved you. I know you tried to sway the decision to have her sent to the Deep Roads. I know you'd have gone to the Deep Roads with her, if they'd have let you. I know that they may be able to take you away from the stone, but they can't take the stone away from you all the same. And if you cared about her at all, you would want to tell us anything you could to prevent that traitor, Bhelen, from ascending the throne, and help us keep Orzammar strong with Harrowmont, unless you have a better idea? Orzammar needs you. I think she'd want you to help us."

He stared at me for a while, then switched his gaze to the armoured men with me. I don't know what he thought he'd see with them in full helmets, but he spent a few moments on each. Finally he returned to me.

"You sure you're a Grey Warden? Should have been a Deshyr. Maybe they'd make you Queen if you asked them nice enough."

I laughed, and he cracked a small, brief but genuine smile. "I'm not. They are. I guess I'm a...helper."

"I will talk to you. But not here. I have a house in this district. I'll give you directions. Come for supper; my wife will want to hear this."

I was stunned - wife? I'd never finished the game as a dwarf, so I supposed maybe if I'd played the Aeducan I'd have known that, but...wife? I thought he loved Sereda? I shook my head. Well I'm going to assume he isn't coming with us to Orzammar, then...I hoped he would have some information of use, regardless.

He and Aedan discussed directions and time - I had enough trouble figuring out morning or afternoon, nevermind specifics. And Aedan at least generally knew his way around Denerim. Once satisfied, he bought me a new dagger from Gorim's stock, as an excuse for us spending so much time standing there, and then we left.

It was still early, so we dropped into Wade's shop and picked up our repaired and newly made armour. Wade preened under the effusive praise as Aedan, Zev, and Alistair put on their new, fancy armour, and I had to admit it all looked quite impressive. Aedan paid for the spare pants for Leli, deciding just to let her keep them rather than have to bring them back later; I allowed the newly adjusted straps to be fitted onto my chest piece, and laced my bracer back into place.

Wade again refused pay for the work he'd done, though while he was adjusting Alistair's armour I noticed that Aedan had disappeared briefly. I guessed that the couple would find some gold tucked some place interesting later, and I grinned at Aedan when he returned. Gifting Wade Aedan's and Zevran's old armour, we took our leave to meet Wynne and Leliana at the Gnawed Noble.

As we walked across the market, I asked. "Aedan? How do you even know what time it is?"

He stopped and looked at me. "The sun? And the bells from the Chantry. How do you figure it out, back home?"

"We had watches. And phones. And clocks. They were-"

He cut me off. "Machines. Right, should have known." He grinned and I laughed.

We entered the Gnawed Noble, Aedan arranging a private room for us to eat lunch, so they could all take their helmets off without risk. The food, while good, was no better than that at the Pearl. Once we were done, we all geared up and headed out.

The plan was for Alistair and Prince to go in first, with Aedan and Zev stealthing in on his heels, followed by Leli and Wynne, and me at the back, staying out of sight as much as possible. Alistair and I agreed that he'd take the mage on the right and I'd take the left, assuming there were actually two. We waited around the corner as Aedan watched the guards, until he saw the one leave to go get food for the others, and we moved fast once he motioned us forward. He incapacitated the one guard standing outside, and then we were in.

The fighting was bloody, and as much as I was bothered by it, I made myself watch. I could probably have talked Leliana out of coming here, if I'd tried; I knew this had to be done, but I deserved to have to live with the consequences of that decision. And I couldn't afford to be caught by surprise and injured, or Aedan would try to lock me in a bubble somewhere afterwards. There were a couple of fights before we reached Marjolaine, and by the slight widening of the dark-haired woman's eyes, she hadn't missed the fresh blood dripping off of our weapons when we entered.

She had the expected conversation with Leli, though I was pleased to note Leliana seemed more confidant when she spoke than she had in game. Leli refused to accept anything Marjolaine said, and so of course there was no way out but a fight.

I felt vindicated when a couple of mages joined, and quickly neutralized the mana of the one on the left, while I felt Alistair do the same on the right. I used the mana to put shields on my friends, so Wynne didn't even need to heal. I had hoped that some of the mercenaries would surrender once Marjolaine died, and I wasn't disappointed. Aedan pulled them aside, had some quick words, then sent them on their way. I assumed he was threatening them to prevent them from joining the gangs that now seemed to be running much of the city.

The mages, on the other hand, would not submit even with no mana and held at sword-point. They feared we would turn them over to the Chantry, and claimed they'd rather die than become Tranquil, which I could understand. Truly, I was torn - as much as I abhorred how mages were treated in Thedas, a couple of mercenary, possible blood mages running free didn't sit well either. In the end, Aedan was forced to kill them, and I could see from his expression that he didn't enjoy it. Leliana took off, heading back to the Pearl, and Wynne went with her; the rest of us looted the various items of value from Marjolaine's house and followed them.

After we had all cleaned up - Alistair and I bathing separately so as to save time - Aedan, Alistair, Zev and I geared back up and headed out to Gorim's. Wynne decided to accompany us, so Leliana came as well. The house we came to was small but immaculately well-kept, with flowers in boxes by the front door, the wood obviously freshly painted. Aedan knocked, and the tiniest person I had ever seen answered the door. It was a child, a dwarven child, and the little one was close to the size of a human toddler, though by his speech he must have been at least five. Although it occurred to me I had absolutely no idea how long dwarves lived or how fast they matured, so I couldn't be sure of that. A young, pretty, vastly pregnant dwarven woman came up behind him, obviously his mother based on the family resemblance. She spoke softly, welcoming us in, but her eyes got rather large when she spotted Prince; Aedan asked him to stay outside, and he whined but settle down on the doorstep.

She introduced herself as Riana. She had no facial tattoo, I noticed, so she hadn't been casteless at any point. She had long brown hair, tied loosely into a bun, and had she been human I'd have put her age in her late twenties. We all took off our helmets, leaving them near the door, and she brought us into the kitchen, which had a long low table capable of accommodating probably ten people, and offered us drinks, which no one accepted.

The house was homey, and the smell from the oven heavenly. The little one, whose name was Revan, climbed under the table with some wooden toys, much to my amusement and his mother's dismay. I wondered where his father was - I knew it couldn't be Gorim, he'd only been on the surface for months - but thought it would probably be rude to ask.

Riana told us that Gorim was out back, in a work shed, helping her father who was the smith that made many of the items Gorim sold. She expected him back in the house soon, and so we all settled for a few minutes, making awkward small talk. From what I was able to gather, without asking too many questions, there was no way that the babe she carried was actually Gorim's; she was too close to delivery, unless dwarves had a much shorter pregnancy than humans. Wynne asked permission to check on the baby, which she granted, and Wynne declared that she was a healthy baby girl.

She seemed very respectful towards Aedan and Alistair, a bit in awe of meeting actual Grey Wardens (or maybe of their height, I giggled to myself). She was a bit confused by Zevran, Leliana, and me, but didn't ask. Revan kept it from getting awkward with adorable comments and questions, including comparing himself in size to Alistair's boot. We were all in stitches when Gorim entered, looking at us all in confusion.

He smiled fondly at the little boy, and went around to sit beside his wife. I noted he had a slight limp, and wondered what that was all about. His wife smiled brilliantly at him, and he placed his hand on her shoulder. It was a sweet gesture, and I smiled as Alistair mimicked him, and then giggled as Aedan did the same to Zevran. We repeated the introductions, and Gorim gave both Grey Wardens a long, judging once-over. He seemed to approve, nodding to himself and relaxing slightly.

Riana stood up and served dinner, some sort of roast meat with potatoes. I didn't ask what the meat was, and no one said; Alistair did give me a strange look when I ate it, so I guessed it was something I normally wouldn't have. It didn't taste bad, however, and as long as everyone kept quiet, I figured I'd be okay. We all dug in, thanking Riana heartily for the meal.

"So. You're the last Grey Wardens, I hear."

Aedan nodded, swallowing his mouthful. "We have been gathering an army to defeat the darkspawn, before the blight takes over Ferelden."

Gorim turned to me. "And so who are you, exactly?"

I gestured at Aedan. "His sister. I'm trying to help them. But I'm also...I guess the best word for it would be a seer."

"As in, can see the future?" He scoffed. "I doubt that."

"Not exactly. More like...I can see certain possible future options, based on what's happened already. It's limited, I only know about certain things, but what I know will happen unless we do something to change it."

He snorted. "If the future could have been changed, why wouldn't you have stopped the massacre at Ostagar?"

I flushed guiltily. "I would have if I could. I couldn't get there fast enough." Alistair squeezed my shoulder gently, and I leaned into him a bit. "I did what I could - I slowed down the advance so some of the vanguard could escape. If I'd been able to arrive the day before...but I couldn't, and I can't go back in time."

He still looked skeptical. I couldn't blame him; it sounded insane, even to me, and I was living it.

"Look, maybe I can help. Why don't I start by telling you what I know about you? Then you can decide if I'm crazy." I smiled, and he laughed softly.

"You've got confidence, I'll give you that. Go ahead, I'm listening."

Now that he was staring at me expectantly, I felt a little nervous. What's the worst that could happen? I cleared my throat.

"You were a warrior in Orzammar, and Sereda Aeducan's second. Sereda was the middle child of Endrin, King of Orzammar. Sereda had two brothers, Trian and Bhelen. Trian was a self-important idiot who was jealous of Sereda's popularity. Bhelen always seemed like a nice younger brother. There was a Proving in Sereda's honour, and then you were supposed to accompany her into the Deep Roads the following day. She was supposed to lead you into Aeducan Thaig to reclaim the Shield of Aeducan."

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