Alistair groaned, sleep still weighing down his eyelids. In an attempt to rid himself of the groggy feeling that plagued his mind, he shook his head and slowly opened his eyes. However, it did little to help, when he opened his eyes, the world around him blurred into itself. Colors and shapes meshed together in the dim light of the room and created a dreamscape display before him. Eventually, the world around him started to clear, shapes and colors became more definite until he could finally see clearly. Alistair blinked a few times in disbelief. He was sitting down at a table in the far back corner table in some sort of pub, people all around talking and laughing merrily as they drank. Questions flooded his mind; ‘Where am I?’ ‘How did I get here?’ ‘Who are these people?’ ‘Where’s-’
“Alistair….” A warm, familiar voice called out to him from not too far away, stopping Alistair’s train of thought to dead in it’s tracks. He turned in the direction of the voice, and was met with a bright smile. There, a young woman no older than he, klad in official Grey Warden armor with (h/l) (h/c) hair that perfectly framed her slender face. Her bright (e/c) eyes sparkled with happiness that perfectly matched the smile she wore. She stood a foot away from him, a large mug in each hand. ‘(y/n)’ Alistair thought to himself with a loving smile beginning to tug at the corners of his lips. (y/n) noticed this and giggled quietly before tilting her head to the side.
“Morning sleepy-head. I brought you some ale.” She said sweetly as she placed one of the mugs of ale on the table and sat down next to him, her smile never faltering once. Alistair nodded and earnestly thanked his girlfriend as he reached for the mug she so graciously got for him. (y/n)’s smile grew at his ‘thank you’ and with a light pink tint dusting her cheeks, she leaned forward to place a chaste kiss upon his lips before he had the chance to place them against the mug, which quickly brought a deep scarlet blush to Alistair’s cheeks. When she pulled away, she flashed him a toothy smile. There wasn’t much left to be said after that, but it wasn’t a bother to either of them. They just sat there, a comfortable silence in the air as the two sat and drank together… however, that all ended when someone suddenly threw an arm around Alistair’s neck, nearly causing him to choke on his ale in surprise.
“Hey! Back from the dead I see!” A vaguely familiar voice announced in a sing-song voice that rang with joy. “(y/n)! Why didn’t you tell us that he woke up?” Unsure of what else to do, Alistair glanced over at (y/n) to see her lips now curled into a pout and her arms crossed in annoyance in front of her chest. She tapping her foot with impatience, her eyes narrowing in on the person who was keeping a grip around Alistair’s neck with a slightly darkened expression on her face.
“That might be because I was dead set on enjoying some alone time with my boyfriend… well, at least I was until you got here.” She said, irritability dripping from her voice in rivers. “Now, let go of him Daveth, before you kill him.” Alistair heard a low chuckle before the arm slowly loosened around his neck enough for him to turn around to see the happy-go-lucky smile of a certain shaggy-haired Grey Warden recruit.
“Oh, come on (y/n), can’t you share?” Daveth asked jokingly. (y/n)’s eyes only further narrowed in on the poor recruit as she wrapped her arms around Alistair’s bicep in a possessive manner.
“No way, Daveth! He’s mine!” She stated flatly, causing Alistair’s once subsiding blush to return in full and even darker than before.
“Well that’s not very fair (y/n)!” Daveth replied, giving his answer with a pout similar to the one (y/n) gave to him earlier. Suddenly, another man with short cut vibrant red hair made his way over to join in on the conversation.
“Are you two fighting again?” He asked only somewhat jokingly. In that instant, all eyes landed on the second recruit, Ser Jory. (y/n) immediately put on her best manipulative puppy dog eyes she could muster up in hopes in getting him on her side.
“Ser Jory! Daveth is trying to steal Alistair away from me~!” She whined, a childish lilt in her voice which Daveth was quick to retaliate.
“It’s no fair to the rest of us that you get to keep him all for yourself!” He replied in a near perfect childish voice to match (y/n)’s while she pouted and glared at him, Ser Jory erupted into laughter at the pair’s argument.
“Alright, alright you two, settle down. How about we all just sit down and share a round or two together?” Ser Jory suggested in the tone one would use when speaking to a pair of young children. Even still, it didn’t seem to bother the pair of friends too much, either that or Alistair didn’t seem to notice.
“Sure! That alright, dear?” Alistair asked, looking over at (y/n), who had started pouting yet again, obviously not happy that their time alone together was drawing to a close.
“... Fine, but you have to promise me that you’ll spend some time with me tonight to make up for this.” She said as she finally let go of his arm and settled back into her own seat. Alistair smiled at her suggestion and gave her forehead a quick peck.
“I promise.” He assured her sweetly. With that, (y/n)’s pout transformed into a grin that stretched from ear to ear as she ushered her two friends closer.
“Good! Then come on over boys. Find a chair and a mug and gather ‘round!” She ordered with a joyous laugh, and it was one order the two men were more than happy to follow. They grabbed two mugs off a tray that a passing serving girl was carrying before sitting down on either side of the couple. The four of them soon found themselves completely enraptured in conversation, chattering on about seemingly meaningless things. All the while, Alistair smiled, pure bliss filling his heart. It was something that he felt as if he was missing for ages, this comfortable atmosphere of warmth and homey feeling… the feeling of family… it felt as if words could not describe the feeling of absolute happiness that had filled his heart and soul. It was the closest he’d gotten to feeling fulfilled after years of longing.
“Anyways Alistair, you had us all worried for a while when you suddenly passed out like that.” Daveth said as he gave Alistair a friendly pat on the back, snapping him out of his thoughts at last.
“Hey! You’d be tired too if you were one of the people who killed off the Archdemon!” (y/n) said, coming to the unneeded rescue of her boyfriend. “Not all of us had the cushy job of blowing up the Deep Roads.” As the two continued to argue, Alistair slipped back into deep thought. ‘Blowing up the Deep Roads...?’ ‘Killing off the Archdemon...?’ It didn’t take long for realization to follow these questions. It was true; he, (y/n), Duncan, and a few other Grey Wardens set off into the Deep Roads in search of the Archdemon while the rest of the order lined the tunnels with explosives-with some help of the dwarves. The group managed to find the Archdemon and slay it without too many casualties to speak of and once the great beast was dead, they scurried out of the blighted tunnels of the Deep Roads as if the monster were on their heels. None of them wanted the others to think that they were dead and blow up the exits with them still inside. Luckily, all the survivors made it out and the tunnels to the surface, were blown to bits. Duncan had even sent word to the other Wardens to do the same. Everyone was more that thrilled that the plan had worked, and why wouldn’t they be? They just took part in ending the Blights forever, so why wouldn’t everyone want to celebrate? Naturally, everyone headed to the nearest pub and others to the brothels and did what they wanted to their hearts content- from singing, to dancing, to drinking, and many more joyous activities. Alistair was anxious to join them when they first arrived, but the sudden wave of exhaustion from the battle hit him and there was nothing he could do, but sleep.
“Think about it this way you two;” Ser Jory started as he placed a hand on (y/n)’s and Alistair’s shoulder, bringing their attention to him. “It’ll probably be your names that go down in history as the ones who slew the last Archdemon and lived!”
“While we’re just the one’s who blew up the caves. A fitting reward, don’t you think?” Daveth added, sounding slightly disappointed he didn’t get as much glory as his two friends. He smiled contently all the same, and Alistair was quick to return the smile tenfold.
“Are you kidding?! The Blight is over, we’re all alive, no one will have to fight the darkspawn ever again, and I’ve got the most beautiful and wonderful woman by my side… how can this get any better?” He asked the ceiling as he looked up to the rafters in bliss and cuddled closer to (y/n) in the process.
“Beautiful and wonderful, eh? Does that mean (y/n) is off the market for the rest of the male population?” He heard Daveth ask, most likely sneaking a lecherous glance at her as she snuggled closer to her beloved boyfriend.
“Sorry Daveth, but I’m taken, and I don’t plan on leaving him for a long, long time.” (y/n) said slyly before pressing her lips against Alistair’s cheek for a few seconds and resting her head in the crook of his neck, thoroughly enjoying the closeness as Daveth let out a dejected sigh.
“This doesn’t seem fair. First it was Ser Knight here and his pretty little and child of his and now you two…...I’m being to feel as if I’ll end up alone forever.” He said sadly and dropped his gaze to the floor. However, despite this, Alistair started chuckling as he finally looked back at his dear friend.
“Nonsense, Daveth! I’ll bet that there’s plenty of female soldiers out there who’d be thrilled to meet one of the famed Grey Wardens like yourself!” He assured. That was all it took for Daveth’s usual happy-go-lucky smile to return to his face.
“Oh yeah? In that case, best not to keep them waiting! Hah! I’ll catch up with you guys later, and with luck, I’ll have a girl of my own!” And with that said, the cutpurse casanova sauntered off to prey on the poor female soldiers that were brave enough to come.
“I suppose I should be heading back now. I’m quite positive my wife is anxious to get to bed by now.” Ser Jory said thoughtfully as he stood up from his seat. “Maybe you two should go talk to Duncan. He’d want to know Alistair is awake.” The moment he mentioned that Grey Warden’s name left the Highever knight’s lips, the couples expressions lit up like a wildfire.
“I almost forgot about him! Come on Alistair! I’m sure Duncan can’t wait to see you!” (y/n) said excitedly as she practically jumped up from her seat and grabbed Alistair’s arm, trying to lead him to their well loved leader. Alistair followed her without hesitation or trouble, and it took no longer than a minute to locate Duncan. He was standing at the bar, mug in hand and deep in conversation with the bartender on the far side of the room. When they got close enough to him, (y/n) happily called out to him. Duncan turned his attention to her, his initial shock of hearing her voice quickly transforming into a soft smile.
“Ah, it’s good to see you’re awake, Alistair. I was starting to worry.” He told Alistair, sincerity ringing clear in his voice.
“Sorry, Duncan. I forgot to tell you.” (y/n) said, sounding a bit ashamed in herself and for her actions, but Duncan dismissed her concerns.
“It is not a problem (y/n). We’re all here now and that’s all that matters. Why don’t you two drink with me?” Duncan suggested, his smiling growing as he was answered with a simultaneous ‘yes’. The bartender brought two more mugs for Alistair and (y/n) who gladly picked them up. Once everyone had a mug in hand, Duncan suddenly lifted his mug into the air.
“I propose a toast; to those who didn’t make it this far.” Duncan announced with a understandable sadness in his voice. There was a few seconds of silence before (y/n) lifted her mug to clink against his.
“To the future!” She added happily, sending a bright smile towards Alistair, who soon followed suit and lifted his mug to join theirs.
“To peace; never again will anyone ever have to endure the pain we’ve gone through.” Alistair said, a far off look of hope and expectancy swirling into his chestnut eyes as he thought about the future he and all the other Grey Wardens created for not just themselves, but for everyone. Then, with an affirmative nod, Alistair closed eyes and downed the contents of his mug. But when he opened his eyes, something was wrong. His wooden mug had turned into a sort of silver chalice, not too different from the one one the Grey Wardens used for the Joining with a deep, scarlet swirling liquid lingering in the bottom. Slightly confused, Alistair looked up to see if the same thing had happened to either Duncan or (y/n) and offer some guidance. Surprisingly, Duncan’s mug had also transformed into a chalice similar to the one he held… and (y/n)... was gone.
But that was only just the beginning of the nightmare that was soon to unfold.
Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, Alistair could see a darkened figure standing behind Duncan. He watched in horror as the figure unsheathed a sword and drove it through Duncan’s back, letting the blade jut out from his chest. Duncan let out a near inaudible gasp as the figure ran him through before disappearing as suddenly as it had appeared. Alistair let his chalice fall to the floor as he tried to catch his commander before he fell to the ground. He looked around wildly in hopes that someone had noticed, but it was almost as if time had stopped. No one moved, no one breathed. Just as Duncan was about to fall, the world suddenly turned dark and hazy for the poor warden. When things cleared again, Alistair was no longer inside the walls of a warm pub filled with happy, smiling people, but instead outside, kneeling on the dead grass of an open field. Giant white spires of broken towers loomed over him, the sky above a near pitch black. The air was silent and still… except for the quiet growls of a giant darkspawn ogre that slowly stomped closer and closer to where he kneeled on the ground. A small, fragile figure led the beast to it’s destination. As it got closer, Alistair could see another figure, held tightly in the grip of the beast… (y/n)’s limp body. The smaller figure stopped, and so did the ogre. The frail figure lifted it’s hand, the ogre copied her movements as it presented (y/n) to Alistair who found himself unable to move or speak. Then, without a word, the ghostly figure opened it’s hand, then squeezed it shut, signaling the beast to crush (y/n) in it’s grasp. Alistair watched, tears brimming in his eyes, unable to move or speak as the sickening crunch of bone reached his ears. He was too shocked to do anything as the lifeless body of his love was thrown aside like trash. The moment her body hit the ground, something inside him snapped. He grabbed the nearest sword and dashed for the beast. Alistair buried the blade deep within it’s heart but as soon as he pulled the blade away, the beast disappeared in a ray of yellow light and leaving the ghostly figure in it’s place. Alistair raised the sword above his head to strike, but froze as the figure lifted it’s head to look up at him. It was undoubtedly the same figure that had killed Duncan, but a new realization came to light as he stared at the figure before him. The figure was one of a female, dressed in tattered and rusted Grey Warden armor that hung loosely from her body. Her hair that was simply tangled, dead locks of (h/c) that fell limply into her face in choppy layers. Her skin was blotchy and grey, with dead white eyes sulken like a corpse’s. Her trembling black lips whispered a single word-
“A…..Ali...stair…” Alistair felt a shock wave of horror and disbelief pound through his veins as this realization formed in his mind. He tried to deny that the saddened familiar voice that rang through his ears belonged to who he thought-no, he knew who it belonged to.
“... (y-y/n)?” He asked aloud,as much as he did not want to believe it, he could not deny the fact that she had the same (h/l), (h/c) hair that now swayed like a dead, matted mess in the now rising wind. The white, milky eyes that hid a tint of the same (e/c) that he fell in love with. Even the undeniably soft, voice he had come to know so well; it couldn’t be anyone else. The walking corpse of his love violently lurched forward, stumbling closer to him.
“A-Alist...air……….A….lis….tair……” It uttered his name in a voice just barely above a whisper and only further frightening Alistair. He took a step back for every unbalanced movement she made toward him. All the while, she kept whispering his name, over and over and over again, as if it was the only thing she could say as her hair flew in front of her face. What made it all that more frightening, was that Alistair could see flashes of (y/n)’s original beauty, as if she was alive again only to have it revert back to the terrifying corpse face he saw now. Suddenly, Alistair tripped over something, causing him to fall flat on his back. When he opened his eyes, (y/n) was standing over him, blade stained black from dried blood in hand, and her face expressionless. Unable to move, Alistair watched as she leaned forward, and whispered something truly frightening into his ear.
“This, will be our future...” she said in a cold voice, overlapped with another. “I’ve heard the song Hespice spoke of… It’s so beautiful, Alistair… I wish you could hear it… but I suppose this will do.” With those words, (y/n) raised the sword to hover above his neck. Alistair’s eyes widened with fright. He tried to move, to sit up, to stop her, anything! But he found himself petrified; unable to move, unable to speak… and unable to look away.
“Never again… will there be peace...” (y/n) whispered as she raised the sword and swiftly let the sword fall
* * * *
Alistair shot up, his body sticky with a thin layer of cold sweat. He breathed heavily with eyes wide as they desperately darted around, trying to get his bearings. Eventually, his chestnut eyes were met with a pair of (e/c) ones, swirling with worry as soft hands cupped his cheeks.
“Alistair? Are you alright?” (y/n) asked, her voice shaking in concern and her eyebrows starting to knit with concern. For the longest time, Alistair just stared into her eyes, slowly bringing up a hand to cover the one on his cheek. He rubbed the soft (s/c) skin he remembered with his thumb.
“...(y-y/n)...” Alistair managed to choke out through the shock, but his words stopped there. He stayed silent as his large hands moved over her smaller ones, gliding up her slender arms and over her shoulders. He weaving his fingers through her sleep tousled hair as if trying to prove to himself that she was real. It took a few minutes, but Alistair eventually calmed down. ‘It was just a dream….’ he thought in relief as the fear from the dream started to loosen it’s grip on his heart. He let his hands fall away from (y/n), bringing one up to massage his tired eyes while the other rested on his lap. (y/n) simply stayed silent and watched him, noticing that his shoulders and hands still slightly trembled. Slowly, as if afraid he’d run from her in fear, she crawled closer to him, and gently placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Alistair, what’s wrong?” (y/n) asked quietly. It was needless to say now that she was beyond worried when she awoke to find her dear companion tossing and turning in his sleep, his face contorted in agony and fear as tears slid down his face. She wanted nothing more than to know that he was alright. Alistair opened his eyes at the sound of her voice, then wrapped his arms around her small frame, and held her in a tight embrace as he buried his face in her hair.
“Thank the Maker you’re alright… it was just a dream… thank the Maker it was just a dream” He muttered in a soft, trembling voice as he held her tighter, not wanting to let her go for the fear that she’d disappear if he did. (y/n) soon wrapped her arms around his waist, tracing a neverending series of circles into his back and whispering sweet nothings into his ear.
“Never again… I’ll never let that happen… never… I promise (y/n)... ”