sdjalana: (tifa)
[personal profile] sdjalana
Title: Make A Memory
Inspiration: Dragon Age: Origins; Female Cousland/Zevran, Alistair
Disclaimer: I own nothing, which is so very sad.
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1297
Summary: Breaking up is hard to do, after all.
Notes: One good thing about spending three weeks in Africa with no TV/internet at home was that it gave me a chance to WRITE.  This was something that had begun percolating in the back of my head ever since I started playing DA:O and Zevran joined my party.  Part of the inspiration for the story came from the song, "(You Want To) Make a Memory" by Bon Jovi.

She let herself be pulled into the room, away from the gazes of servants and courtiers who had taken to following behind her, hoping to curry favor with the queen.  Immediately, his arms closed around her and her heart began to race.

He always managed to find her at the most opportune times, moments when she could disappear without being missed, though those moments were fast becoming rare.  But even without them, he could sustain her with a look, a brush of his fingertips against her arm, a whispered caress.

It had started as harmless flirtation.  Each had continued to make the expected responses, but as time went on, amusement faded as a new awareness began to emerge and settle.  It had grown steadily, revealing itself in the furtive glances they exchanged, the excuses they made to touch each other.  Wynne had seen, and had disapproved, but the mage couldn’t put fetters on her heart, or his.

“Alistair will be heartbroken,” the older woman had said to her, and cautioned her to either break off her growing relationship with the assassin or let the former templar down easily.  She had returned to her tent alone that evening, her thoughts whirling as she stared at the faded rose she held in one hand while clutching the single earring in the other.  She had known that she needed to make a choice, that it was unfair to all three for it to continue like this.  And yet, she couldn’t bring herself to let go of either man.  She had tried to imagine a day without either man in it, and her breath caught in her throat.  Best put that thought away for now, she had decided, trying to calm her suddenly anxious nerves.

In her past life, the other Grey Warden would have been the embodiment of girlish fantasies.  Her handsome knight in shining armor, so honorable, and so completely in love with her that it took her breath away at times.  His infectious grin and unfailing sense of virtuous goodness drew her to him in a comforting embrace.  And while there would be no fairytale ending for the two of them, she knew he could make her happy in the years they had remaining, until the Deep Roads called them both.  But with the taint came other hungers, other desires, and Zevran managed to fill an emptiness inside her that she hadn’t known was there.  It was a needy, grasping thing, overwhelming her at times with how much she craved his presence.  They were so dissimilar, the noble lady and rogue assassin, and yet, he understood her like no one else could.

And then, the Landsmeet happened, and before she realized what was going on, Loghain was dead and she found herself announcing to the gathered nobles that she, Brianna Cousland, would rule beside Alistair, bastard son of Maric.

She had made her choice.  They shared a bond, after all, she and Alistair, one that no one else in Fereldan could understand, and he would need her.  Her chest had tightened at the surprised shock quickly veiled in Zevran’s eyes as she stood beside her husband-to-be.  She wouldn’t allow herself to feel regret.  Duty and honor, above all, wasn’t that the Cousland way?  And yet, she still found herself outside his room that evening, her heart pounding in time with her knuckles at his door, his handsome features nearly overwhelming her senses when he finally stood in front of her.

“Ah, mia cara,” he had sighed.  He had understood her decision.  Alistair’s boyish charm and sense of humor would make him a popular king, but he was unsuited to rule… not without help.  That same sense of right and wrong that had drawn her to him would be his downfall in a court full of nobles who didn’t share his sensibilities.  And while Arl Eamon would make an ideal advisor, a queen who understood politics and the games nobles played would be of greater benefit for the new king, for a country so recently divided by civil strife and struggling to rebuild after the Blight. 

He had understood, but couldn’t quite mask his hurt as he listened to her stammered explanations, her feeble excuses.  In the past months, he had begun to lower his guard around her, slowly baring his soul to her, and it seemed that once stripped, his armor of teasing innuendos and sarcasm was harder to put back on than either of them had realized.  She reached out to caress the tattoo on his cheek, her fingertips skimming over the dark lines, and he grabbed her hand.  Certain that he would push her away, she had therefore been surprised when he turned his face into her hand and placed a soft kiss in the middle of her palm.  She had stood frozen as his lips slowly trailed up her arm, nibbled at her neck and earlobe, before they leisurely landed on hers.  A low moan had escaped her as her mouth opened beneath his.  His arms had crept around her waist, holding tightly as she clutched at his shoulders.

“What are we doing?” she had gasped when he finally released her mouth.

He rested his forehead against hers, eyes closed, just breathing in her familiar scent.  “Making a memory,” he whispered before he touched his lips to hers again, gently.

For one blissful moment, time stood still.  Then lust had taken over, lips and bodies meeting in a furious clash.  She had stayed with him that night, and the nights after that as they traveled back to Redcliffe, taking care not to let certain others in their party know, thus preventing the awkward questions that she couldn’t have answered then or, she suspected, even now.  She truly did love Alistair, but theirs was a warm, comfortable love, as first loves go, and not like the raging tempest she shared with Zevran.  So maybe when Morrigan had presented the Wardens a way out of a hopeless situation, she was a little quicker to agree than one might have expected.  And when they had succeeded in killing the Archdemon and everyone ready to move on to their happily-ever-afters, she had asked him to stay in Ferelden, in Denerim, with her.   She had grown addicted to the elf’s teasing comments, his sensual touches, his loving embraces, until the idea of living without him became inconceivable. 

“Didn’t I say I’d follow you to the gates of the Black City itself?” he had asked in return, his voice unusually strained with suppressed emotion. “Staying in Denerim can’t be much worse compared to that.”  She found her answer in the joy within his eyes, and felt the sense of peace she had been missing during the celebrations.

They heard the approaching footsteps at the same time.  The lovers broke apart hastily, straightening their clothing as they moved, she to the door, he to a corner hidden in shadows.  The footsteps drew closer to their private sanctuary.  She found herself holding her breath, willing the unseen person to move on, then released it slowly as the footsteps receded further down the hallway.  The silence stretched between them, and then she sighed.

“Perhaps…” she ventured reluctantly.  Her eyes met his, and he chuckled wryly.

“Yes, perhaps.”  He drew closer and ran his hand over her hair, smoothing down a few stray strands that had escaped her attention.  She kissed him softly, gently pushing him toward the window as she reached for the door handle.

She turned back to look at him before she opened the door to the rest of the world, ready to return to her people, her husband.  A smile graced her slightly swollen lips at the sight of the familiar look in his eyes.  Until our next memory, mi amore.

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