I didn’t even know it was on my mind until the words were already out of my mouth. Anora, being the practiced royal, agreed, if tentatively. Getting Alistair to agree would be another thing entirely. Even as I walked to his room, I wasn’t sure it was what I really wanted.
During long nights together, he would say that we might be able to find a way, the two of us. That maybe, if he were king, it could actually be different. It was rare certainly, but surely we could not be the only two in all the world that had felt this way before. I was not the only mage to have fallen for a templar, nor the only elf to have fallen for a human. To be twice removed from a potential life with Alistair...was heartbreaking if I stopped to think about it. So, I didn’t...often, anyway.
To see Alistair’s face when I told him my idea, was to know that I’d stepped in it. Worse than the time Sten had walked around with Dog’s leavings on his boot for hours before we had found the source. This wasn’t going to be remedied nearly as easy.
“What I mean to say, Alistair, is that...”
“What? No please, please tell me that this is a joke. That, while cruel would make more sense than if you actually meant it. You couldn’t possibly mean it.”
I opened my mouth, but words weren’t forthcoming. Instead, I stood there watching his cheeks flush with anger as he floundered for an explanation. I gaped at him and all I could think about was how frustrating it all was. Why did we sign up for this to begin with? Were we better, was Ferelden better because we were working so hard to make it so? Eventually, the fog in my head cleared a little, and I realized Alistair had gone as silent as my own thoughts.
I found my voice then, “You’re staring”.
“You’re not talking and I find it disturbing when I have to have the entire conversation for the both of us.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Alright, you got me. What I actually find disturbing is that I am capable of having the entire discussion for the both of us.” He smiled and I felt a little more like we might be able to have that conversation after all. Like it might not completely break us apart to even consider it, let alone, go through with it. “Now, please, you must have some sort of plot afoot.”
“I do.” Did I? “Or at the very least...I might?” I lifted my hands and shrugged.
“Well, I”m intrigued now, that’s for sure. You had one hell of an opening line.” He grabbed one of my hands and led me across the room and gave me a little nudge to sit on the edge of his bed. “I’m listening.”
I nodded. “I asked Anora if she’d be willing to marry you, though I realize now that maybe I had my conversations backwards...but I think I was ambushed. She’s not very subtle that Anora.”
“She lived with Cailan all those years, I think she had to unlearn some of the royal art of subtly.” With a smile he took a seat next to me on the bed.
I returned his smile, appreciative for his sense of humor, and continued, “Anyhow. I saw her and she kept going on and on about how she wanted my support in the Landsmeet. She wants to be Queen...”
I shrugged. “...And she thinks I”ll have some sort of voice and wants my approval for her to take over after we remove Loghain from the throne. I have, reservations, about that.”
He nodded. “There is much over that seems her father’s daughter.”
“Exactly,” I said. “And she thinks that she’s what Ferelden needs right now but I’m torn, because while she has the experience of both being Loghain’s daughter and Cailan’s Queen, she seems extremely motivated to grab that power for herself right now.”
“And you question her motivation?”
“I suppose, though until recently...” He turned his face away from me for a moment, and then with a big sigh turned back to me and continued, “...I would’ve said it didn’t matter to me. To let Anora do what she would with the place, I didn’t want it.”
“Are you saying you want to be King?” I was surprised how much of my voice wavered as the words came out and quickly shoved the next thought away so I wouldn’t speak it while my voice was so untrustworthy. Do you want to marry Anora?
“Not at all but there was a time, not so long ago, as you know, that I wouldn’t have considered it at all.”
I took a breath to steady myself before I asked, “And now?”
“Now, I don’t suppose it’s such a crazy thought. But, what you’re suggesting...you have to understand why I got upset.” He turned to look at me, his brow furrowed with concern. I knew.
With a nod I said, “I have an idea.”
“Better than an idea I would hope with all the time we’ve spent together.” His voice got huskier as he added, “And I don’t mean the time we’ve spent fighting Darkspawn. I mean, the rest of the time, at camp.”
“Yes, I understand, Alistair. But, for our our lofty goals, I am both a mage and an elf.” I sighed. “You could be better served...”
“I have noticed, you know. I have eyes. And you,” he leaned over and kissed my ear, “have very attractive and pointy ears.”
“Alistair, I’m serious.” I slapped at him half-heartedly and hit only air.
“I know you are and so am I. But, why marry me to Anora?” He sat back up, grabbing my hand from the air and held it in his. “I could be King on my own, I could find a way for us to be together.”
“We’ve talked about this. If you’re King, then the people will expect you to have a wife, a human one. A noble one.”
“You’re noble.” He shifted my hand between his and after a moment I feel his now free hand on my back and working it’s way under my armor.
“Not what I mean, and you know it. She is a Noble, not just noble, and it’s what is expected. You’ll also be expected have children.”
“Nothing says we can’t try,” he said, leaning into me.
I wiggled free of his hand and slid off the bed onto my feet. “I can’t have this conversation with you while you’re trying to get into my armor.”
“Then don’t.” He stood. “Nothing says we have to settle this here and now. And I would like to enjoy our time together before making any big decisions. After all, the way I look at it, if I do agree to what you’re suggesting,” he held up a hand, “and I”m not saying I do, but if I did, chances are we couldn’t continue to see each other. Or at least, things would have to be a little different between us. We’ve still got some time before that has to happen, right?”
“Not much, but yes, I suppose.” Leave it to him to find sense in all this.
He smiled. “Okay, glad that’s settled. Now then, I would like to make a proposal of my own.”
I raised an eyebrow at him and gave him a questioning look.
“Your armor on my floor. And you,” he reached for me, and pulled me back towards the bed, “here.”
Unable to help myself, I returned his smile. “Oh? And then?”
He scrunched his eyebrows together and took on a look of mocking seriousness. “Why, we’ll talk of course.” His serious facade broke as soon as the words were out of his mouth. “Well, we can talk after.”